SNP Support for £200 million West Lothian Wind Farm Project


West Lothian Council SNP Group has expressed its full support for the £200 million Fauch Hill Wind Farm Project.

SNP Council Group Leader Cllr. Peter Johnston explained,

“SNP believe that West Lothian must be open to new development – even more so in these difficult economic times – and so we are fully behind the Fauch Hill Wind Farm Project that will bring a £200 million investment to West Lothian,  create significant opportunities for local businesses and deliver a significant number of new jobs, apprenticeships and training opportunities.”

Cllr. Johnston emphasised,

“SNP are enthusiastic supporters of the provision of clean, green electricity and believe that the Fauch Hill proposals not only deliver on this agenda but will also provide a range of substantial community benefits.”

Local SNP Councillor Carl John added,

“We are particularly supportive of the project commitment to deliver improved flora, fauna and biodiversity in the locality through the planting of 100,000 trees and through a habitat management plan.  We welcome the commitment to create new paths and tracks for cycling, mountain biking, riding running and walking and believe that these, along with the proposed new Visitor and Educational Centre, will both enhance local amenities and improve access to the Pentland Hills and will actually increase the number of visitors to the Pentland Hills Regional Park.”

Cllr. John stressed,

I am particularly pleased with the substantial Community Benefits Package which will provide an annual payment of £330,000 with the Kirknewton and West Calder communities receiving £99,000 a year each and I warmly welcome the opportunity for a ‘Community Turbine’ which will allow a community share in the ownership and success of the project.”

Cllr. Johnston continued,

It is clear from independent resident surveys that there is considerablecommunity support

For the Fauch Hill proposals and we are delighted that both West Lothian College and Oatridge College are supportive of this project.

I believe that by objecting to this £200 million investment West Lothian Council’s Labour/Con Administration has shown themselves to be completely out of touch with our community.   SNP are clear the council has failed to properly consider this vital issue and failed to even follow the council’s accepted procedures by refusing to allow detailed consideration through our policy development and scrutiny process.

The Council objection means that a Public Local Inquiry is necessary and the SNP Group has now formally determined to fully support the project and will contribute positively to such an inquiry as we believe that the successful delivery of the Fauch Hill Wind Farm Project will be a tremendous and welcome boost to West Lothian in economic, environmental and community terms.”

 

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Multipaths and cycling routes latest


Well since going “public” with the Selm Muir Multipath Proposal  on the 3rd of April I thought it best to provide an update of what’s been going on as the summer holidays now seem like a distant memory:

– it is evident that the website photos unintentionally misled people in to thinking the proposal was to turn Selm Muir in to a Cycle Park. It is understandable how these conclusions were drawn. This is not the intention of the proposal and any development, in conjunction with The Forestry Commission and the council, will be under the “Multi-user” bracket. The group is not ruling out the proposal of a cycle specific and a child friendly cycle trail in the future.

– through the Kirknewton Development Trust I offered to meet and discuss with some of the people who had raised concerns on the proposal. After calling one and meeting with another initial feedback was that they were supportive of the proposal going forward as long as their concerns were taken in to consideration. People have also contacted the Forestry Commission directly and some of their concerns had been addressed. As mentioned earlier, concerns had been mainly that the project was turning Selm Muir in to a “Cycle Park” although dog/horse fouling, car parking, litter, how the wildlife and vegetation would be affected and how all users would interact on the paths were also raised. There are people who have commented on the website that are still to be contacted.

– all the feedback on the website had contained pertinent points that have been noted and will be raised further down the consultation process.

– we are waiting to hear back from the Forestry Commission with regards to organising a meeting to discuss the proposals further focussing on the short term and long term objectives of the project.

– I have also met with landowners who have shown support for an Off Road Path from Kirknewton village up to Selm Muir. It has agreed that a route over land between Potter Around and Selm Muir entrance at Leyden road may be possible. More details will follow.

Being a community led proposal it is very important that everyone gets their chance to comment or be involved – we have tried from the beginning to be inclusive and not exclusive. As the proposal progresses we will try our best to keep people informed with any developments.

Anyone wishing to be kept informed can email dmccool111@gmail.com and I will try my best to keep you up to date. Alternatively, people can get in touch with the Development Trust or Forestry Commission.

A big thanks to those who have been involved so far and also to those who have taken the time to comment on the website proposal.

Regards,

Duncan