Developer Taking The Time To Listen To Community Feedback

by Laura Berry

Monday, October 14th, 2013

Working with the local communityThe planning application for the proposed Bandirran Wind Farm, near Balbeggie has been postponed for around six weeks to give the local community more time to examine the proposals.

Hamilton-based Banks Renewables has taken the decision to postpone its planning submission following a request from representatives of some of the Community Councils surrounding the proposed wind farm site, who have requested further time to fully consider the detailed plans for the project prior to the application being submitted.

The details of the proposed application, including the exciting Community Partnership offer, were unveiled at public events in August.

The Company hopes to use the extra time in the run-up to submitting the application to hold a series of workshops with members of the local community, providing further opportunities to gain a better understanding of the proposals put forward.

Colin Anderson, development director at Banks Renewables, said: “The communities around Bandirran have shown a real willingness to get involved in the development process as this project has moved from concept towards reality.

“We hope this relationship will continue to evolve and develop and will eventually lead to a full Community Partnership for the Bandirran Wind Farm should the project be approved.

“Over the last 6 months we have held a site visit for local people, completed two rounds of public exhibitions, invited local businesses to “meet the buyer” events, and held a series of joint community meetings involving local community councils and community groups.

“We have also met individuals, local interest groups and companies, and statutory consultees. The purpose of all of these meetings is to share information, listen to feedback and shape the proposals based on this to achieve a design and partnership offer that is as good as it can be and fully supports the communities in which the project sits.

“It was at our joint communities meetings that some community council members asked if we would consider delaying the application to give them a bit more time to fully consider the Bandirran proposals. It was suggested that this would also allow the community councils to directly consult widely with people in their communities and so reach a view on the merits of the project.

“Given the principles of partnership which have been central to the development of the Bandirran proposal we felt this suggestion was reasonable and decided to postpone the planning application to Perth and Kinross Council for around six weeks.”

UPDATING THE LOCAL COMMUNITY

Banks Renewables now expects to submit the planning application for the six turbine Bandirran Wind Farm in November.

The project would generate up to 20.4MW, provide around £4.2M of community revenues over the life of the wind farm, and pump an estimated £5M into the local economy during the construction phase alone.

The recent exhibitions held in Balbeggie and Inchture were very well attended, with 131 residents and businesses learning about the final design proposals as well as the Community Partnership offer and the Company’s commitment to support local businesses.

Banks Renewables confirmed that the Community will have the option to purchase up to a 5% equity share in the wind farm, which is in addition to the 2.5% revenue share offer that underpins the Community Partnership proposal.

Banks Renewables continues to work with communities across Scotland and the United Kingdom, developing long term relationships and partnerships that deliver a range of economic, social and environmental benefits, tailored to each individual communities needs.

Full details of the Bandirran Community Partnership proposals can be found on the project web site. 

Banks Renewables is part of the Banks Group  a family firm founded in 1976, which now employs over 400 people in the renewable energy, property and mining sectors.

Press release issued as part of a media relations campaign for Banks Group by Holyrood PR. To find out how to make media relations work for your business contact us today.

Private: Laura Berry

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