Fauch Hill Windfarm has not been granted planning consent at appeal by the DPEA Inquiry Reporter and the Camilty windfarm that has consent and where KCDT would have a possibility of income has been delayed as it was recently sold to EDF.
The board of Kirknewton Community Development Trust recognised that the chances of approval of the reviewed Fauch Hill were slim, however the role of KCDT is to get the best deal we can from any acceptable developer proposal for the benefit of the Kirknewton community.
At the original planning meeting West Lothian Council dismissed the significant socio-economic impact that the Fauch Hill proposal would have delivered to Kirknewton, therefore it is good to know that the Reporter took this factor into consideration this time around, as evidenced in the quotation from his decision letter below, thanks to the help of community volunteers and as part of an external review put forward by the Developer.
Of course it would have been nice to provide employment and on-going funds (in the region of £80,000 a year) to improve activity and facilities in our village as well as being able to easily invest in housing for the elderly, youth projects, park improvements and guarantee events such as the fireworks each year. This will, in the short term, not be the case but we will continue our efforts to achieve this.
“Direct and quantifiable economic benefit would also be provided by the appellant’s intention to allow the community to acquire shares in the ownership of the proposed development – the appellant having entered into legally binding heads of terms with two local community development trusts. The income from such investment (in the region of £80,000 per annum for each trust) could be used to fund valuable local community facilities to the benefit of the wider community and support up to 11 full-time equivalent jobs, according to the appellant’s predictions – a significant number in the context of a relatively low local population. In accordance with the Scottish Government’s Good Practice Principles for Shared Ownership of Onshore Renewables (2015), this is a matter to which positive weight should be given.”