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Come on Norway, you can affjord our £2.5m

Clydesdale villagers are claiming they are being massively shortchanged in compensation payments for having a new windfarm built on their doorsteps.

In fact, many in Douglas/Glespin/Crawfordjohn area feel that they are being completely by-passed in getting any of the direct community benefits that would normally be paid by developers, claiming South Lanarkshire Council is scooping all the compensation being paid by the company erecting the 14 turbines at the new Andershaw Windfarm.

The story begins almost a decade ago when SLC was first notified of a developer’s intention to build the windfarm, this project later being taken over by Statkraft, a wing of Norway’s state power company.

At that time the norm for compensation payments to communities impacted by windfarm developments was £2500 per megawatt produced, this to be paid into a council-run rural regeneration fund.

However, since then Scottish Government guidelines have doubled that compensation payment to £5000 per megawatt, half of that now to go direct to the affected villages for local groups to decide how its share of the money should be spent.

The council only recently granted final planning permission for the Andershaw Windfarm but says it can now do nothing about the old,`half-price’ compensation deal it signed with the developer.

This has left many locals angry at missing out on an estimated £2.5m to improve their area; Douglas Community Council has written to the developers but were told by them they were sticking to the original financial agreement.

SLC’s Director of Enterprise Michael McGlynn explained: “This deal was concluded some time ago and was agreed in accordance with Council policy at that time.

“At that time it was Council policy to seek £2,500 per MW.”