By Jenny Foulds | Daily Record | 21 Feb 2018 | www.dailyrecord.co.uk
Council chiefs are having second thoughts over a planned £7million windfarm in Bonhill due to the turbines being close to residents’ homes.
The Lennox Herald has previously reported how West Dunbartonshire Council planned to build four turbines at Pappert.
But now council officers have drawn up a second option, which would see them partnering up with firms Lomond Energy and Wind 2 to site them instead at Merkins in Dumbarton.
If eventually approved, the energy created could bring in up to £600,000 a year for the local authority from any future contributions to the National Grid.
If the second option is agreed, it will be the second time a bid is made to site turbines at Merkins.
Lomond Energy applied to the council to build 10 turbines at the land between Bonhill and Gartocharn in 2013 but the bid was refused by planning committee councillors on the basis it would spoil views from Loch Lomond.
In a report to the infrastructure, regeneration and economic development committee on February 28, they say the original Pappert plan may struggle to gain consent due to the “highly sensitive” nature of the viewpoints at Pappert.
Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Authority has already expressed concern, principally about the development obstructing views from the beauty spot.
Councillors will be asked to agree to carry out option appraisals on further investigation into a more detailed business case for either a wholly council-owned windfarm at Pappert or to enter into a joint venture with Lomond Energy.
The report states: “At the moment, the council is in the process of making a decision as to which of two project options to pursue.
“The first option is apply for planning consent to design and build the four turbine development on Pappert Hill.
“This land is owned by the council, but it may prove difficult to gain consent to develop on this land due to its proximity to Bonhill, which is 0.7km away from the turbines, whereas a suggested buffer of 2km from residential property is the standard recommendation.”
“The second project option is to partner with Lomond Energy and Wind 2, and invest in turbines located only on Merkins land.
“This option would be the best option as far as obtaining planning consent goes, due to the highly sensitive nature of the viewpoints from the Pappert site.
“This wind turbine development would be much larger in scale and has the potential to negate the whole of the council’s electricity consumption from grid, but this option means investing in a development on privately owned land.”
Chiefs say the second option requires more investigations to establish how much the council would pay for the site, as well as quantifying what the annual revenue income will b [ends]
URL to article: https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2018/02/22/west-dunbartonshire-council-draw-up-new-plans-for-7million-windfarm/