Banks Renewables wins Ayrshire planning approval after cutting number of wind turbines

Site of the proposed new Lethans wind turbine farm in East Ayrshire.
Site of the proposed new Lethans wind turbine farm in East Ayrshire.

An application to build a new 74.8MW wind turbine farm near New Cumnock has been approved at the second time of asking by East Ayrshire Council.

Durham-based developer Banks Renewables had reduced the number of turbines at the Lethans site by four from their original application.

The bid now goes for final approval to the Scot-Govt as it still exceeds the 50-MW ‘large development’ energy threshold.

A Banks Renewables spokesman said: “We’ve been listening to East Ayrshire Council, the statutory consultees and local residents to understand what the key concerns were in regards to the wind farm.

“Consequently, five of the most visually prevalent ridge line turbines were removed and one new turbine inserted in a less visually-intrusive part of the site to reduce the landscape and visual impact.”

The developer has vowed to provide the following community benefits if it wins final planning approval; –

  • A chance to purchase up to 5% equity stake in the wind farm, subject to a 25% community discount
  • £8 million into the community benefit fund over the 25 year lifespan of the wind farm, and:
  • A £250,000 investment to facilitate improvements to public access and potentially mountain biking facilities

23 Aug 2017

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