Halfway Community Council will formally oppose a planned wind turbine at Flemington.
Members of the group voted unanimously to object when the proposal is put to South Lanarkshire Council’s planning committee.
They will also write directly to Healthy ’n’ Happy, who are behind the plans, urging them to reconsider.
Liisa Hepworth, who lives in the Loanend Cottages near the site, spoke at a packed meeting, in Park View Primary last Wednesday.
She urged the community council to back the residents, saying: “We are really concerned about the proposal.”
She told the meeting the turbine would be 76 metres high, and would sit 550 metres from her house, adding: “We were told it was going to be unobtrusive and not visible, but clearly it is going to be visible, not just to people in Flemington and Halfway but also Uddingston and Blantyre.
“This is not going to be hidden from view. This is going to be a big turbine, very visible and overbearing to locals.”
Ms Hepworth said she thought the work Health ’n’ Happy do was “fantastic,” but questioned whether the wind turbine matched their own vision.
She also said the consultation was just “lip-service,” and that there are a “number of significant historical interest,” near the site, including the cottages themselves, which are a conservation area.
Financially, she said the turbine would impact on the value of their homes and claimed Healthy ‘n’ Happy had offered financial compensation, adding she felt “uncomfortable,” for a charity to offer cash in that way.
John Edgar, who sits on the community council, questioned where the money from the wind turbine would go, saying he had met with Jane Churchill, who is in charge of the plan.
He said “This community will not get money. It will go to Health ’n’ Happy for Burnhill, Whitlawburn, the bike track and Camglen Radio. “I am sick of money being taken out of this area. The community council needs to stand up. I’m fed up. Jane Churchill could not tell us how much money was coming to this community.”
Liisa Hepworth said she was worried Flemington Farm was a “prime site to become a (wind) farm”.
Mr Edgar responded, saying: “We have worked with Health ’n’ Happy, I have worked with them for a long time.“But it’s supposed to be for the community to be healthy, not stick big wind turbines up.”
Mr Edgar, community council secretary Jim Walker and member Sandy Paterson questioned the attitude of Healthy ‘n’ Happy towards the community council for raising their concerns.
Mr Paterson said he had been accused of being “negative” when questioning if a public exhibition constituted a consultation while Jim Walker said: “They are a major player within the community, they get a lot of money and they should work with the community.”
It is believed an application for the turbine could be submitted to the council in the next four to six weeks.
Healthy ‘n’ Happy were not formally invited to last week’s meeting.
But Executive Director, Brendan Rooney, told the Reformer: “Thankfully everyone agrees that we do very good work and that local people and local communities benefit. Everyone knows that funding is reducing year on year and we need to find alternative ways to continue our work with local people and communities throughout Cambuslang and Rutherglen and there is a real threat to our continuing existence in the current economic climate.
“We understand that wind turbines can be an emotive subject and that some residents will have reservations about them and we are trying our best to reduce any impact and to minimise disruption to the landscape as well as respond to other concerns.
“It has also become clear that some residents are very supportive of the benefits and despite the critical comments we genuinely welcome the debate.
“This single turbine proposal is purely for community benefit and not for some unknown large overseas commercial company, only interested in profit. We are planning to use any income from the turbine to support the charitable work of Healthy ’n’ Happy and to create direct community benefit funds for the communities of Cambuslang and Rutherglen, including Halfway.
“Local communities will directly benefit as a result and we can continue to provide vital services, employment and opportunities to individuals from all over Cambuslang and Rutherglen.
“Our plan is for a single wind turbine only on this site and it is still very early in the process. We shared our plans early in the process to be as open as we could be.
“The planning application submitted recently to South Lanarkshire Council was not for the actual turbine but for a wind mast to test the wind over the course of a year and to determine how good the site is, or not.
“We have a really good relationship with Halfway Community Council and we want this to continue. We have offered to meet with them to discuss our proposals in detail and we await their response.”
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