KCDT shared ownership details of Fauch Hill windfarm on planning portal

Have your say on the Fauch Hill windfarm.  Hit the make a comment button and have your say https://planning.westlothian.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=documents&keyVal=DCAPR_145166

Full details of shared ownership between Kirknewton Community Development Trust and the Fauch Hill windfarm developers can be found in the public domain on the West Lothian Council planning portal.  The Heads of Terms are presented by Burness Paul as well as details in the letter of why the Scottish Government encourage shared community ownership.  Don’t let the legal language turn you off.  It’s time to have your say – hit the make a comment button at https://planning.westlothian.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=documents&keyVal=DCAPR_145166

The Kirknewton Community Council have made their views known to planning via the results of the community survey.  KCDT has made it’s written submission based on a mandate from the community to invest in renewable energy for the benefit of the whole community.  Don’t be afraid to have your say even if you took part in the recent consultation.  Your view, alongside policy considerations, is important.  No matter what side of the debate you are on, no matter what the outcome, at least you can say you tried to make a change.  It’s your community and it’s up to you.  Comment today via this link and hit the make a comment button.  Thanks!  https://planning.westlothian.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=documents&keyVal=DCAPR_145166


Kirknewton / East Calder engagement with Edinburgh Airport – erm, where did our schools go?


Attached is a document of questions to the airport, with their response, and additional comment on that response ECDCC EAL Meeting 6_3_17 Questions EAL response KECC response 7_4_17 (1)

Below are some questions asked at a meeting on 6th March with Gordon Dewar CEO and Gordon Robertson Communications Director and their answers.

The airport were asked for additional information following initial questions, which were answered yesterday.


Pop 10 to 15,000

(GR) Weighting Table –we cannot show everything – it’s a presentational issue

Taken from 2011 census data – issue to get population measure, spoken to Planners and Developers BUT known expansions have not been included.  This is why it is a Consultation. BUT we need to evidence the Final Report to CAA

KB Population Density – can we have these figures – has not included East Calder, Calderwood etc

(GR) Presentational issue – we can assure you East Calder is included (The population numbers for Calderwood, East Calder etc are not included in the assessment and weightings of route A6—so must be included in another column. East Calder, Calderwood and Newlands would be overflown on route A6, but are not mentioned anywhere as being so—except possibly as ‘closer’)

RMcG The Chart is wrong – 2 nautical miles either direction, our concern is you have not looked at it properly. GR TO COME BACK WITH DETAIL

We show Kirknewton as being ‘closer’

 Population density mapping was used to assess the impact of operations on local communities, with population figures taken from the most recent census in 2011. It is not possible to include all towns and villages in the decision making matrix. The areas chosen were selected due to their location or proximity to the proposed flight paths. Although not all towns and villages have been included in the matrix, their populations have still been included in our route design through population density mapping.


(GR)  It was captured and included (Not visible to any Kirknewton enquiries)

GR to point us to the PAGE on the Website and weightings in the tables

We did have a response from Kirknewton Community Council, it may have been one of the ones submitted when we were experiencing a problem with our website during the initial consultation.  


These do not tie up. Graphs and Text not back to back – Figure 7 vectoring above 6000 ft

(GR)  We are now using ARNAV/GPS and Satellite technology (At present using Beacons on the ground – these will be discontinued) allows us to be far tighter. We have no control over 6000 ft – at 4,000ft its still in our control.  Earliest point you can start vector is 4000 ft.

We have had to take a view and try to balance it.

RMcG The information in this document is very misleading.  Height is important to Noise – What impact is this going to have?

SMcK Noise Mapping – is it based on theoretical – (GR) – YES

SMcK When does that become live?

Noise footprint, loudness, frequency.

(GR)  Consistent measure

Perception of noise has different impacts to different people. 

GD We are the fastest growing airport in the UK – people make an informed choice where they live.

RMcG Good neighbour – they will have a reason to be part of the consultation.

(GR)  – CAA will decide on balance

What effect will EAL have on these people below the flightpath regardless of conscience?

Noise contours terminate at 70 – what happens beyond that?

(GR) CAA set that

SMcK You set the brief.  We could make representation to CAA and ask.

(GR)  We can find that out and let you know

Noise contours terminate at 70 – what happens beyond that? –

Beyond the 70dBA Lmax contours, the noise from an aircraft will still be audible and a 60dBA contour would extend further along the route.  However at lower noise levels the noise is not intrusive.  Inside a property you would be unlikely to be disturbed by noise from Aircraft below 70dB


Reduced C02 emissions on A6 –this argument is pretty spurious.

(GR) Impacts on design, the greater it takes a plane to Istanbul – not a huge impact.

SMcK asked if EAL could advise what emissions resulted from each aircraft operation. Particularly small particulates (PM2.5 and PM10) and NOX.

GR admitted that these are at their highest during take-off and he promised to REPORT BACK with the relevant data.

SMcK We would prefer the Status Quo – same flight paths- No expansion

GD We cannot support that

A3 existing on P39- A6 needed for Turbo Prop and then Jets?s (will inevitably follow)

(GR)  No intention to fly Jets, we are currently using Tala, we would need to talk to Communities if there was jets in the future.

How many planes would fly over A6?

(GR)  Between 39 and 41 per day Turbo only. There is no guarantee we are only looking at routes in general.

Jets get high quickly, Turbo props cannot manage that. Preference is for A and

Operationally A6 is better than A3

(GR)  We can give you Consultation Material and Route Option Design.

GR confirmed that any ‘future’ population was weighed less than existing in EAL assessments, which left the 10,000+ population expected in existing approved development plans, as being less important than others under the flight path


Gordon Dewar left the meeting at 1.30pm as planned.


Councillor Carl John asked about flight paths over schools – we have 6 schools in the area, and this did not seem to be Best Practice.

(GR) Wherever you fly it will be over schools. We took the findings on population and tried our best. (Several queries were made in respect of current and future population figures, but EAL had used 2011 census as ‘best available’’—which was seriously disputed by all residents and councillor)

Councillor John asked for the map with schools plotted on it

Please see map showing schools and care facilities attached to the email.

(Schools at Kirknewton, East Calder, Mid Calder, Ratho and Currie seem to be missing from this map?)


New populations impacted

(GR)  to provide and place on consultation website with sufficient time to allow public to view before close of consultation

This information has been included in the book in the matrix tables, however the colours in the tables have been changed and explained via the key at the bottom to show positive impact, no change and negative impact.



This table does not include either East Calder or Mid Calder both of which fall into the criteria overflown. EAL includes these communities when addressing impact but the Table 3 does not include this. Table 3 is misleading to the Public, Kirknewton should also be shown as Overflown.  Calderwood should also be taken into account.

REVISE TABLE and Provide detailed information.

The route does not fly over Kirknewton, East Calder or Mid Calder but does pass closer than current operations. As we have explained not all towns and villages have been included in the population matrix.


Labour and Greens comment on Airport expansion in parliament

Labour MSP Neil Findlay – Please watch and share my speech from my debate today on Edinburgh Airport’s flawed flight path consultation.

My full speech is also below in text. (Check against delivery)

Thank you presiding officer – air travel is a modern necessity whether that be for work or leisure many of us use it at some point.

For people living near an airport they know and accept that they have to endure some disruption; however, it is incumbent upon Government and airport authorities to keep the impact of air travel and noise to a minimum and reduce disruption on people’s lives.

Airport’s may need to expand at some point but that should only be when:-
• those airports reach capacity
• when there is an unanswerable evidence base for doing so
• And when actions are taken to ensure widespread community support and real and genuine mitigation measures are put in place and carry the confidence of the public.

Under the current proposals put forward by Edinburgh airport none of this has happened. There is no evidence base for expansion, the airport is not at capacity, there is huge community opposition and the mitigation measures promoted do not carry the confidence of the communities who will be affected. 
From the outset the consultation process on the proposals from Edinburgh airport to introduce new flight paths has been shambolic and flawed in so many ways. Let me set out why.

Edinburgh airport is not at capacity – it is operating below 2007 levels. The airport claim they have scheduling issues at peak time around 7 am. The rest of the time there are no capacity issues. Isn’t it therefore ironic that to address the 7am scheduling issue the airport have brought in charges on airlines to manage peak demand for slots. Edinburgh airport are one of the most vocal advocates of scrapping air passenger duty to increase demand yet impose their own flight duty to manage peak demand. And of course they haven’t been shy to add drop off charges for their passengers. Their brass neck is something to behold.

The initial phase 1 consultation process saw over 200 consultation responses lost, many people not notified of the plan and residents in places like East Calder, Winchburgh, Kirkliston, South Queensferry and Kirknewton advised by the online tool to check their postcode or their future postcode to see if they would be affected by new flight paths. Thousands of people were advised there would be no impact on them so never made submissions. Then lo and behold the phase 2 route options were published and these very same people find they are now very much affected by the plans having just spent hard earned money and life savings on a new home.

This occurred because the whole consultation is based on the population from the 2011 census – a whole six years out of date. This completely fails to take into account the huge number of new houses built in Calderwood, Winchburgh, Kirkliston and other areas. And isn’t astonishing that the developer of the huge development at Winchburgh where 4000 new houses, a secondary school and much more will be built has not even been consulted by the airport about their proposals. I have spoken to a number of residents who bought houses in new developments on basis they believe they wouldn’t be affected – only to find out they now are.

The airport claim 25,000 fewer people will be overflown – yet the methodology behind this claim is nowhere to be seen.

Yet again there is no evidence base in this flawed process.

The consultation process has also been heavily loaded in favour of the airport. Community councils whose members are lay people with limited expertise in the highly technical world of aviation have been asked to comment on very complex documents with no support or technical advice available to them. This is completely unfair and loaded in favour of a big powerful and influential business who have consultants, technicians and spin doctors coming out of their ears. That is neither fair nor just but I do however want to pay tribute to all those community councillors and members of the public who have committed he time and effort to this cause.

And Presiding officer most disconcerting in all of this is how this new consultation sets community against community. In developing several route options they are effectively saying to people – OK you might not want flights over your property so which community would you like to send them over –a divide and rule strategy if ever there was one.

Other concerns include the way data has been presented, the loss of submissions at phase 1 and the failure to fully analyse health and environmental impacts.

But let me be clear Edinburgh airport is not developing these plans in isolation. A freedom of information request I have just received lays bare how they are absolutely complying with the SNP Government’s policy. At a meeting between Nicola Sturgeon and the Chief Executive of easyjet in November the First Minister said and I quote “The Scottish Government will continue to support all Scottish Airports to grow the number of routes to and from our airports.” The paper goes on “We are keen to explore further route development options with easyJet and to support their aspirations to expand in Scotland.” Crystal clear. Isn’t it therefore crass hypocrisy for Fiona Hyslop and Angela Constance to sit in cabinet supporting this policy and the scrapping of air passenger duty but all the while claiming to their constituents in Broxburn, Linlithgow, Uphall, Dechmont and East Calder that they oppose these proposals. They have been well and truly rumbled trying to ride 2 horses at the one time.

Presiding officer I am more convinced than ever that this plan for more routes and flight paths is about one thing and that is fattening Edinburgh airport for a future sale at an inflated profit. That is what GIP the owners of the airport do.





Scottish Green MSPs today used a Holyrood debate on Edinburgh airport’s expansion plans to call on the Scottish Government to step in and halt the company’s flawed consultation.

Last week 20 community councils affected by the plans came together at a summit meeting at Holyrood hosted by Mark Ruskell, Scottish Green MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife.

In today’s debate, Mr Ruskell said:

“These proposals will impact heavily on West Fife. Dalgety Bay alone will go from being overflown on 70 days per year, to potentially facing flights 365 days per year, 18 hours per day, with no respite.

“This unfair consultation pitches communities against each other. Instead we need to agree that this consultation is not fit for purpose and should be halted immediately.

“Last week, I held a meeting in parliament for affected Community Councils. Representatives from 20 councils, across 6 local authority areas attended, and each had their own story to tell about how they felt misled, or ill-informed. There is no information on the social, economic or environmental impact of the proposed routes, because these assessments have simply not been done.

“The Scottish Government must step in and force the CAA to put a halt to this consultation.”

Also speaking in the debate, Andy Wightman, Scottish Green MSP for Lothian, said:

“This consultation has been seriously flawed, the airport operators have misled the public and have displayed an arrogance and contempt for public opinion. Edinburgh Airport, NATS and the CAA have virtually all the power. They got it from Conservative Governments who privatised the airports, who privatised NATS and who created the modern CAA whose statutes privilege commerce and the needs of the private airline industry.

“Are these proposals in the public interest or are they designed to boost the asset value of a company to be sold off at profit in the years ahead by a bunch of faceless offshore speculators? Edinburgh Airport exercises power in the interest of its faceless shareholders in far-away tax havens.”


New Kirknewton Map and Guide to help boost local tourism


Kirknewton Community Development Trust are pleased to announce the new Kirknewton Guide and Map.  The intention of this project is to make local people more aware of their natural surroundings, encourage tourism and support local employment.

Inside you can find more about the new Pentlands Walk, section 75 cycle route, transport links, local businesses and places to stay.

There is 10% off at Potter Around and information about the Green Room, The Stables, MadMax Adventures, Kirknewton Riding School, Hillycow Wigwams, The Cyrenians Farm, Harperigg Fisheries, Mortin Clay targets, the Pentland Hill, Dalmahoy Golf Courses, Almondell and Calderwood Country Park, Jupiter Artland, Ratho Climbing Centre, Newbridge Go Karting, shopping, places to eat and the history of Kirknewton.

The map will be delivered to 20,000 homes across West Lothian.

More information can be found on the Kirknewton website at www.kirknewton.info

Thanks to local man David Dignan of www.theburgh.org for designing the brochure.

Laura Bilton is new Kirknewton Youth and Volunteer Officer

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Kirknewton Community Development Trust are happy to announce the employment of Laura Bilton as our new Youth and Volunteer Officer. Laura begins in May and joins us from The Action Group, where she was an employment advisor, youth group worker for young people with additional support needs and support worker. She also previously volunteered for the Kirknewton Youth Group.

For the first time ever ALL our staff currently live in Kirknewton, which is a great achievement and meets our objective to create local employment when we can.
Laura joins us until our current funding stream ends in July 2018. Big hello to Laura, it’s great to have you on team Kirknewton.

Kirknewton agree community ownership option at revised Fauch Hill windfarm

wind-turbinesKirknewton Community Development Trust has agreed Heads of Terms to provide ongoing funding to support the Kirknewton Community Development Plan.

The majority view of the communities in Kirknewton and West Calder and Harburn have been expressed to planning via the recent community consultation which was undertaken.

As you may be aware Kirknewton Community Development Trust have for the last 11 years worked tirelessly to create an income stream for community activity, to the benefit of the whole community, particularly by investing in renewable energy.  We have faced several disappointments along the way, largely due to external factors, despite majority community support.

We have managed to survive thanks to the Lottery supporting our work and ambition within the community, providing a better start in life for the young in Kirknewton right through to those approaching retirement with our current housing project.  Community spirit and engaging volunteers, supporting local business and creating employment, providing care for those in need and supporting young parents/carers and improving activities for teenage children can all be evidenced.  We have shared our experiences and see an active and vibrant sector across West Lothian which identify need based on community consultation and informed development plans, rather than listening to a small and vocal minority who shout the loudest.  This is very welcoming.

We cannot stress enough, however, that for Kirknewton Community Development Trust this ends on July 2018 when our considerable lottery funding comes to an end. 

The surprising and revised Fauch Hill windfarm is our only hope for continued funding and maintaining the work we do alongside various stakeholders and community groups who do wonderful things around Kirknewton.  With ownership of a ‘virtual turbine’ on the table to support our Development Plan work we intend to make this known as a priority for us over the next couple of months.  For that reason we hope you will encourage and support the Fauch Hill wind farm proposal, particularly at planning stage.

From the research undertaken, supported by Kirknewton Community Council and the Trust, the Kirknewton community (and we are aware the results in West Calder are dissimilar) tell us

“Across the three elements of the consultation (household survey, online survey and surveys completed at the Boralex exhibitions) there were 406 responses from the Kirknewton Community Council area. Of these, 43% indicated support for the proposal (19% strongly support, 24% tend to support) set against 14% that indicated opposition (10% strongly oppose, 4% tend to oppose). The balance was made up of neutral responses (31% neither support nor oppose, 12% don’t know).”

Now that this socio-economic component may be considered as of material value in current planning decisions we wish to emphasise the importance of the income that would be earned on a continuous, long-term basis providing stability in funding that will allow the Kirknewton Community Development trust to plan developments in the certainty of a sustainable income derived from our fractional ownership in this development over the 25 year lifetime of this project.

The majority of the community supports this development as does this Community Trust. We believe that ordinary folk recognise that we must accept responsible for the long-term sustainability of our planet on behalf of future generations. Scottish government has ambitious targets for carbon  reduction , for generation of electricity from renewable resources and for the ownership by community bodies of renewable energy generating capacity . This project meets all those needs.   The offer made to the two host community bodies, and to the wider West Lothian community through West Lothian Development Trust,  by the proposer of this development is generous as loan finance is offered on a non-recourse basis. It is unlike offers made to Scottish communities by any other developer as it underwritten by guarantees that facilitate ownership without financial risk or penalties and consequently we recommend that this project is granted full consent by our local authority acting on behalf and to the benefit of the communities that it is elected to represent.

This application goes to planning soon and your view has been shared via the community consultation that was undertaken to get the majority community view on this windfarm.  Thank you for showing your support.

Kirknewton visited Scottish Parliament about airport expansion last night…

I would say there were about 20 community councils represented at tonight’s meeting in a full committee room at the Scottish Parliament. Angela Constance, Alistair Stewart (Con) – who left right after I spoke – Mark Russell(Green), Alison Johnstone (Green) and another Green MSP, plus a professor, and a government statistician from Edinburgh Airport Watch were present.


Though most were against the Airport’s proposals there was keenness not to be dismissed as a group of nimby’s. One community councillor said her brief was that her area might benefit from increased employment at the airport – though the statistician had already shown slides demonstrating how each airline industry job is effectively subsidised to the tune of £50,000 by the tax discounts on fuel, VAT and duty that the industry benefits from compared to other businesses.
Points were made about lack of restrictions on night flights, that London’s Airports apart from Heathrow were intentionally built outside populated areas etc.
A letter will be circulated shortly for Kirknewton Community Council agreement to sign. Mark Russell and EAW intend to draft it with the main point being taking all factors into account, including the fact three affected communities were initially excluded by postcode from responding, the inaccuracies and mistakes in the Airport statistics, that the Airport should abandon this process immediately. That any new consultation should wait until the CAA’s CAP725 process is in place and be conducted with credible evidence and genuinely accessible materials.
There was in fact much interest in the response from the Airport to our letter, some aghast that it was possible the Airport could refuse to consider our response and insist on a response via the website – despite the obvious deficiency that it is difficult to include a diagram in a text box.
It was interesting to meet Helena Paul and Airport Watch, people who discovered during the TUTUR trial from 2015 that the airspace over their heads at Blackness mattered much more than they had previously thought.
Meantime, if you regard peace and quiet of the air above you as a public asset, please write to your local councillors, MPs and MSPs, preferably before the 7th of May, asking them to apply all possible pressure in councils and Parliaments to have the CAA reject EAL’s deeply flawed proposals. 
Given all the elections currently going on, there is a very good chance they will be “all ears”.
Please also ask the MSPs to support Neil Findlay’s motion S5M 04708.
That is to be debated next week. As I can walk to the Parliament for a lunch hour I have already booked my ticket for 12:45 next Thursday the 27th. If you can spare the time, Professor Greenhouse made an appeal for as many as possible to turn up in the public gallery in order to demonstrate to MSPs that this issue matters to many people. Tickets are available from the Scottish Parliament by calling 0131 348 5000 / 0800 092 7500.
If you haven’t already done so get your thoughts in for the second part of the airport consultation at www.letsgofurther.com
John Thomas