Fauch Hill Wind Farm Community Benefit update

The Kirknewton Community Council Fauch Hill Wind Farm survey can be found online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/FauchHillWindFarm. The Fauch Hill wind farm notification is on page 45 of this weeks West Lothian Courier. The details of the commmunity benefit package, negotiated by Kirknewton Community Development Trust, is summarised by Invicta, the public affairs organisation employed by the Developers EFRG.   1. As communicated in our last position paper on community benefit (issued just before Christmas) we have now agreed to partner with the West Lothian Development Trust to provide a community benefit of £4k per MW of installed capacity. Based on the submitted layout this would amount to £276k per  annum and circa £7m over the 25 year lifecycle of the project. As part  of the agreement of partnering with WLDT they have agreed to provide  60% of the funds on a revenue basis to be split equally between Kirkewton Development Trust and West Calder and Harburn Development Trust (once formed) to allow both host communities to take forward projects that benefit the local community. The remainder 40% of the fund will be distributed to neighbouring communities (tbc) and strategic projects that benefit West Lothian as a whole.

2. In addition the CBF we have also agree to provide a Local Infrastructure fund of £276k (effectively a 26th year of the CBF) for the benefit of the local community who live around our site and outwith any of the established settlements. (We are) in active discussions with the sub group about the amount and focus of this fund. However the broad criteria will remain that this money will be available during the construction period of the project (I.e 3 years from planning) and be focussed on capital investment projects that improve energy efficiency and micro renewables opportunities. (We are) currently waiting on feedback from (the group) following our last meeting and will be in a position to move this forward substantively in February.

3. Finally EFRG remain committed to offering a Community Investment Scheme that would allow the local community (scope tbc) to invest their own money into the project to help them realise an annual return in line with the performance of the windfarm. At this moment we do not have a workable model however once the CBF and LIF are agreed (we) again would like our attention to turn to this matter in a purposeful manner.

(We) look forward to seeing the results from your local consultation exercise. If you need input from us then please ask. Our project website is now updated with the submission details and we will be issuing briefing packs next week to all stakeholders. Thereafter (we) intend to hold a Liaison Forum meeting in February and arrange to  attend all relevant stakeholder organisation meetings to present on the application at next practical opportunity. Finally to move matters on on all matters outlined on community benefit we will be arranging as CB Working Group meeting. The timeline for all of these meeting will be mid to late February.


Kirknewton launch wind farm consultation

Dear Kirknewton resident,

This blog entry has been written on behalf of the Kirknewton Community Council.

Kirknewton has been identified by the company EFRG as one of the host communities for a wind energy power station to be sited to the west of Harperrig Reservoir. You may know it as the Fauch Hill Wind Farm.

The Kirknewton Community Council had been relying upon the developer’s consultation to ensure that the views of local communities were understood fully. However, we have not sufficient confidence in the results of the consultation, particularly with regard to the sample size of people from Kirknewton that have made their views known at the two events held in the Kirknewton Village Hall. We believe it is very important that a sufficient sample of the Kirknewton community has an input to this consultation so that there is confidence that the views expressed are those of the community as a whole.

Therefore we have asked IBP Strategy and Research to conduct some independent market research on the Community Council’s behalf to get yet your views.

Atached to this this blog entry you will find

  • A background document relating summary of discussions between the Community Council, Kirknewton Community Development Trust and EFRG (represented by Invicta)
  • A document written by Hugh Hunter Gordon from the Community Council on sources of energy (it should be stressed that this paper has been written by me in a personal capacity and you are also encouraged to look at other sources of information about these issues).
  • A survey that covers
    • Your opinion of wind farms in general
    • The Fauch Hill Wind Farm proposal
    • The community benefit packages being offered by the developer of the Fauch Hill Wind Farm

The Community Council would appreciate it if you could fill this survey out online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/FauchHillWindFarm or on the paper copy enclosed and send to IBP Strategy and Research in the Reply Paid envelope (provided in a pack that will be sent to all households in Kirknewton) by Friday 10th February.

IBP will also contact a sample of the community through a door-to-door survey in early February.

The results should be available on or before 1st March and will be presented at the Kirknewton Community Development Trust AGM on that date at 8.30pm.

It is important that you make your views known on this matter and both the Community Council and the Kirknewton Community Development Trust would appreciate your responses.

If you have any questions regarding this consultation please contact Fraser Grieve at IBP Strategy and Research on 01698 743075 (f.grieve@ibp.eu.com).

Thank you for your co-operation

Hugh Hunter Gordon

Chair of Kirknewton Community Council

Wind Farm summary

Energy options paper

Survey questions

100% want Kirknewton Christmas Festival next year.

Happy Chinese New Year – year of the Dragon!  I hope you also have a great Burn’s Night this week.  Apologies to those who would have liked village events for both of these nights, but maybe next year…In the meantime I thought it would be useful to share the results of the Kirknewton Christmas Festival evaluation survey

100% of you that responded to the survey said they would like to see it happen again next year.  It is quite clear from the results that the month of events were quite popular with you all.


60% of you who attended the new Christmas Craft and Food Fair thought it was excellent, 30% Very Good and 10% Good.

Comments included;

“Gill & Dan’s burgers were great. Thought was bit squashed in the barn could have done with bit more space.”

“I enjoyed this event greatly and purchased some decoration materials and gifts. I enjoyed the sing song and the Hamburgers also”

“The “barn” could do with some cosmetic improvements I guess.”

“I thought it was an excellent first attempt and very enjoyable. The boys really enjoyed it!”

“Fantastic  idea and believe it has  so much potential to be developed next year.Festive, warm & welcoming atmosphere Great selection of quality crafts & festive food. Saving the date for next year…please let us know earlier!”


75% of you heard about the Christmas Festival from the facebook group, 62.5% from the flyer and 43% from the ad in Konect magazine.  31.3% heard about the event from the poster, the same percentage for the Kirknewton website and 25% of you heard about the event through word of mouth.


42.9% of those who attended the School Christmas Fair thought it was excellent.  42.9% thought it was very good and 14.3% thought it was good.

Comments included;

“Thought fair was excellent”

“Bring back the home baking!”

“Some items quite expensive for what they were. Felt obliged to take son so he didn’t miss out.”


22.2% of those who attended thought the Lighting of the Christmas Tree was excellent.  55.6% thought it was very good. 22.2% thought it was good.

Comments included;

“Thought lights on tree a bit disappointing but the event was well organised”

(a number of people asked for improved lights and lampost decorations for next year)

“A sing-along next year please.”

“Excellent idea to have overspill in pub – just need some carols at the tree for next year……bit of festive music!”

“Bit crowded in the hall for refreshments but I don’t think that any improvement can be made as that’s a result of the Tree Lighting’s success!”

“Would be good to get a couple of carols at the tree! And would be nice if it snowed, just a little.”

“Nothing bad, the weather unfortunately was poor which spoiled it a little.”


20% of those who attended the Christmas Tree sale thought it was excellent.  40% very good.  40% good.

Comments included;

“Great idea selling Christmas trees. Some lovely glass work crafts & home baking  but overall  table top sale limited.”

“Hard to rate as just got my pre-ordered tree there but all looked good – table top a good idea but maybe need to try and combine with fair as as not too many things on in one month??????”

“Too Late for Xmas tree to be purchased on 17th December.”


For those who attended the Carol Singing and torchlight procession 66.7% thought it was excellent and 33.3% thought it was good.

Comments included;

“My son attended I couldn’t as my younger one in bed. He has been at it 2 years and enjoys it really great idea for xmas eve.”

“A very enjoyable evening in good company”

“Didn’t go this year but have been every other year and I love it…”

“Probably would be good to stop and sing in a few more places.”


Most attended events by those who responded to the survey were the lighting of the Christmas Tree, the Craft and Food Fair, School Carol services, the P1-3 nativity and the nursery nativity.

Comments included;

“Enjoyed the carol singing particularly as this year it was held in the church instead of school.”

“Was a lot of people crammed in m(nursery nativity). Perhaps next year it could be in gym hall or issue tickets.”

“Both lovely, so pleased the carol concert happened after 3 years of trying.”

“The nursery nativity was great though the venue was a bit cramped. However I don’t think you could move it to the hall as the kids would be too intimidated and it was difficult to hear them as it was. Maybe christmas songs would be easier at that age? Well done everyone!”

“Charged £4 (£2 each) to watch son sing in nativity. Most other parents I know from other schools didn’t have to pay as much/didn’t have to pay at all. (School seems to have something to pay for almost every week and you always feel obliged so that your kid doesn’t miss/get picked on because you can’t afford it)”

“Advertising dates  for events earlier.”

“Love all the Christmas events – think the school carol service would be good with mulled wine and mince pies after it???”


You were also asked for you ideas and comments for next year.  These included

“A suggestion box maybe”

“Would be lovely to have a childrens choir to sing at events…”

“Building on 2011 Christmas Festival & perhaps having a Christmas  Craft & Food Fair earlier in December too.”

“What about Santa going around the estates on a float/ trailer? Not sure how feasible this would be health & safety wise though”

“Think Tony has done fantastically well pulling this together and got some good publicity for the village too its a great idea.   I would have definately attended other events – school fair & lighting of xmas tree but had other commitments on these days.”

“Great ideas and congratulations to all the folk who gave up their own time and effort into running this activities.  Unfortunately, due to other committments this year did not get the opportunities to attend these programme but I heard wonderful things about them all from parents, neighbours & young people living in the village.  Well done to all involved and your hard work is very much appreciated.  Keep up the great work.”

“We would have attended more events but with little kids we can’t always get to everything on time. Maybe the lighting of the tree could be earlier, say 5pm? Then we might have managed!”

“Would have attended more if we hadn’t had other commitments/illness.”

“Thank you to those who organised events and put in the hard work & effort to make it happen!”

“Just need more bodies to make these things happen as ever but well done to everyone who did make them happen this year.”

“Can’t think of anything to add to this year’s one – it was smashing.”

and finally…

“The best wee christmas festival in West Lothian. Next year let us make it the best big festival”

Thanks very much to everyone who helped and attended the events.  Hope to see you next year!



Happy New Year – happy new you!

Happy New Year from the Development Trust.  I hope you survived the recent gale force winds!

It is time to gently get back into the swing of things – so we have a few new year suggestions for you.


You may have a new year resolution that will help the environment – why not share your pledge on the Kirknewton website at http://www.kirknewton.org/pledge/make_a_pledge

If you wish to join the food waste scheme then you can collect a free food waste caddie from the Development Trust office – if we are closed e-mail infokirknewton@gmail.com and we can arrange a time for you to come and collect one.  This scheme is now guaranteed to continue until at least March 2013 thanks to a grant from West Lothian Council.  If you are already separating your food waste and preventing it going to landfill then tell us about it on the website pledge page at http://www.kirknewton.org/pledge/make_a_pledge

You may also wish to consider how you travel to work or weekly trips – try the West Lothian Tripshare scheme at http://www.westlothiantripshare.com/Default.asp?uxi=&cr=check to see if you can share a car.  The Trust also has guides to Cycling to Work – they are available free from the office and we will make some available at various outlets in the village.


The Trust are working on facilitating groups to help kick start more youth events in the village, based on information gathered during  the volunteer and skills audit.  We hope to bring together people to start a number of new groups or encourage you to join a current group who could use your skills.  Over 60 people have already participated in our volunteer and skills survey and will be contacted over the next few weeks with more details.  There is still time to share your volunteering and skills at our survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/B8SCJJB if you want to know more!

You may have also heard we have received funding of £110,000 to build a new resource centre on the old Gospel Hall site.  Work will hopefully start soon on the build but we need to raise at least another £20,000 for match funding / interior work/equipment.  You will have the chance to fundraise for the new village project in the new year – details will be made available after the Development Trust Annual General Meeting at the end of February.


A number of local companies can help you eat healthier and improve your general health and well being.

My local 5 a day came to the Christmas Craft and Food Fair and are offering 25% off your first order at http://mylocal5aday.co.uk/

You can have fine dining from all the best ingredients at home or have fantastic catering for your party/event with David’s Kitchen at http://www.davidskitchen.co.uk/

Hedgerow are also offering locally baked bread at the local shop – read more about them at http://www.konectdirectory.co.uk/paulholborn.php

If you fancy a bit of pampering then contact local business Lisa Blair on 07910002251 or e mail beautytherapy@hotmail.co.uk

For Indian Head Massage, Reiki and Relaxation Therapy check out http://www.wholebodybalance.co.uk/

You can support other businesses in the local area – check out the directory on the Kirknewton website at http://www.kirknewton.org/business_directory.  If you have a local business that you would like to have on free on the directory then please contact us at infokirknewton@gmail.com

Thanks to Potter Around who hosted the Craft and Food Fair – you can read more about Potter Around in an article that appeared in the Scotsman magazine prior to Christmas here


There are couple of surveys currently running that need your feedback.  One is from a graduate at Napier who is doing some research on the proposed army barracks at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/MWPQZNF and the other is from the Development Trust on the Kirknewton Christmas Festival at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/VFLZPB3 – get your thoughts known for the new year on both before 12th January!