WilloWind Energy has announced that it will submit a formal planning application for its proposed Linfairn wind farm in South Ayrshire on September 27.
After carrying out a engagement programme to ensure all interested parties could comment on its plans, WilloWind Energy says it has finalised a revised design that involves key changes to both the number and locations of the turbines.
The revised layout will now see 25 turbines on the site, with turbine nearest to the village of Straiton to be relocated more than 2km south west from the village to fully comply with the Scottish Government’s guideline on a 2km separation distance between turbines and towns and villages.
In another sign of its commitment to listen to the concerns of local residents, the application now provides detail of the access route to the site which, it says, crucially avoids Straiton.
WilloWind Energy had initially planned for a wind farm with 29 turbines but after holding a public exhibition on the plans in January and considering the responses from since then, the company decided to revise the plans in its submission to Scottish Ministers.
Martin Davie, CEO of WilloWind Energy, said they have sought to involve local people, politicians and other stakeholders and interested parties to progress the Linfairn development with sensitivity.
He said: “We’re very pleased to have reached this milestone. It is also especially pleasing to have had such active involvement from local people in getting the plans to the application stage– we’ve gone to great lengths to respond to the issues raised with us about this development, and have included a number of measures in our application which we believe fully address them.
“Central to this has been our commitment to reduce the number and alter the locations of the turbines, as well as ensuring the access route to the site goes nowhere near Straiton.
“It is a clear endorsement of what we said we’d do – that is to listen to the views of the community to help us determine the final shape of our planning application.”
Mr Davie added that the submission of the planning application should provide an opportunity for a fuller debate in the community on both the issue of wind energy and benefits the project could bring to the area.
He said: “The Scottish Government has stated its commitment to renewable energy as its response to climate change – it has set a target of generating the equivalent of 100% of Scotland’s gross annual electricity consumption from renewable sources by 2020. This proposal will play a part in that process. It will ensure that the local community is playing its part in protecting the Scottish environment for future generations.
“This project would also bring a range of other benefits to the local area, from new jobs and commercial opportunities for local businesses connected with the construction, through to funding for a range of long-term community benefits over the life of the wind farm.
“Youth groups, local charities and voluntary organisations are among those who could benefit.
“WilloWind Energy is happy to continue to work closely with the Kirkmichael, Straiton and Crosshill Community Council and Maybole Community Council and local councillors to look at possible community benefits associated with the Linfairn wind farm.”
The planning application documents are available for public viewing at South Ayrshire Council office and Maybole Library and on the WilloWind Energy Linfairn Farm website. The final date for responses is November 11.