East Ayrshire Council Wants Wind Farm to Progress

by Stuart Milne

Monday, August 21st, 2017

Jeannie Kielty, Maya Hernes , Lorna Hull and Rachael MacLeod from Banks to be used by Renewables PR Agency

AN EAST AYRSHIRE wind farm which would drive significant investment into the local economy has taken a major step closer to fruition.

Following the decision of the local authority to grant a unanimous non-objection, proposals for Lethans Wind Farm will now go to the Scottish Government’s Energy and Consents Department for final determination.

Hamilton based Banks Renewables, the developer behind the 74.8MW, 22 turbine project, which is situated east of New Cumnock, welcomed the decision.

Jeannie Kielty, community relations manager at The Banks Group, said: “We have developed strong relationships with the supportive neighbouring communities over the past three years, so we are delighted to see the council’s decision reflecting the positive feeling towards the project.

“We believe that our proposals will directly benefit the local area and deliver a real, lasting, positive impact. Through our Connect2Renewables initiative local firms will be given priority when tendering for contracts and we have committed to delivering £37,500,000 of local economic benefit over the life of the site through construction contracts awarded to local firms and other Community related activities.

“In addition, this decision moves the local community’s option to purchase a stake in the wind farm a step closer to becoming reality.

“The proposals now move on to the Scottish Government and we are optimistic that they will approve the project given the substantial regional and national benefits that would result.”

Banks Renewables has received over 400 letters of support from the public, with just one letter of objection throughout its extensive public consultation in the lead up to planning submission.

Banks Renewables’ Lethans wind farm, if approved, would offset the carbon emissions of over 40,000 homes[1].  The site is over 4km away from the nearest village.

Jeannie added: “On top of the obvious potential of this project to boost East Ayrshire’s capacity to generate its own power and help protect the environment, we are also concentrating on ensuring the local community around the project benefit as much as possible.”

The remote nature of the site, the high wind speeds and the sensitive and considered approach taken to site design is a further positive element of the project.

[1] Based on Scottish Government Wind Farm Carbon Assessment Tool, view online at: http://informatics.sepa.org.uk/CarbonCalculator/?7YFQ-0TE0-77GNv6 (December 2016)

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