Straiton windfarm is to be ‘downsized’

A windfarm planned for the south of Straiton is to be cut down in size following a review by developers Willowind Energy.

The proposed Linfairn wind farm would be located on farmland to the south of Straiton.

The company initially made an application for 25 turbines at the site in September last year but following strong local opposition, they conducted a review and have now removed the six turbines in the northern leg closest to Straiton.

And the company says it is committed to consulting on the remaining 19 turbines that are proposed.

Suki Atwal is now leading the Scottish operations of Willowind and said: “One of our priorities is to improve the level of community consultation in the next phase of this project

“I believe our Linfairn scheme is a considered one and could be of enormous economic benefit to the surrounding areas including Straiton and Maybole.

“Our community benefit package of £5,000 for every MW consented could give a real benefit to the local economy and to local community schemes and we want to hold discussions with the community councils on how that can be done.”

Willowind will be running public exhibitions about the revised plans at the McClandish Hall in Straiton on Wednesday 9th July, in Maybole Town Hall on Thursday 10th July and in Dailly Community Centre on Friday 11 July. All of these exhibitions will take place from 2.30pm-7.30pm.

Independent councillor for Maybole and North Carrick Brian Connolly has welcomed the review by Willowind energy.

He said: “ My view of the initial plans was that they would have far too much of an impact on the village so I welcome any rethink on the number of turbines.

“The northern leg has proposed turbines closest to the village so reducing the number should be welcomed as should plans to consult with the communities.

“I don’t think this will change Save Straiton for Scotland’s opinion as their view is to oppose all wind farm developments which they are of course entitled to do.”

Save Straiton for Scotland chairman Bill Steven was unavailable for comment as the Gazette went to press.

Last year Mr Steven presented a petition with over 3,000 signatures opposing the Linfairn plans saying that the proposed development was totally inappropriate and should be refused on many grounds.

Mr Steven said then that WillowindEnergy had ‘blatantly disregarded’ the guidelines on community engagement when it comes to windfarm development projects.