Locals living in the North Carrick
area are being invited to attend a set of public exhibitions to
discuss a ground breaking opportunity to develop a new community
wind farm. Maybole, Dunure and Kirkoswald, Maidens and
Turnberry community councils are encouraging local people to discuss
proposals for Knoweside Community Wind Farm, which could support
major regeneration for the area.
The consultation, led by the community councils, will provide
information on the regeneration plans and the proposed partnership
with local landowner, Cassillis and Culzean Estates and Hamilton
based energy firm, Banks Renewables; and ask residents if they
support the proposal. Should the response be positive, a
planning application for a seven turbine development at Knoweside
Hill could be submitted by the end of October 2014. Up to 23.8MW of
energy could be generated from the site, enough to power over 18,700
Peter Mason, Chairman of Carrick Community Councils’ Forum said:
“This is a tremendous opportunity for the people of North Carrick to
be part of something truly unique. “Never before have local
communities been given the chance to take a lead role in the
planning of a community wind farm so I would encourage local people
to seize the opportunity by coming along to find out more.
“Not only does Knoweside Community Wind Farm have the potential to
provide the area with clean, green energy, our local communities and
businesses would get a serious boost from the funding it would
provide. “It would also create local jobs for local people
which in an area that is 8th in the tree of deprivation in Scotland
would certainly have a profound effect.
“This could really be the answer to a lot of the challenges facing
North Carrick at the moment so I would urge local people to get
involved and have their say in helping to shape plans for a brighter
future.” Members of the Banks Renewables team, who have a
wealth of experience designing sympathetic developments, tailored to
the needs of local communities will be on hand to discuss the
details of the proposals.
Colin Anderson, development director at Banks Renewables, said:
“We’ve never before had a project of this scale with such a high
degree of community involvement and active participation. It’s
therefore unique and provides an exciting prospect for the people of
North Carrick. “Now is the time for locals to come and talk to
the Partnership about how they would like to see the proposals taken
forward and to explore the opportunities it could bring to the area.
“We are hoping for a substantial turnout, as this is the chance for
local people to make a decision that could create a positive legacy
for generations to come.” If the community councils’
consultation finds widespread public support for the scheme, the
Partnership, through the recently established North Carrick
Renewables Limited will submit a planning application for Knoweside
Community Wind Farm to South Ayrshire Council.
The Partnership results in the communities receiving 4% of the wind
farm’s revenues, estimated to be around £9.6m over its 25 years life
span. The communities also have the option to purchase an
increased stake in the wind farm, which could result in increased
revenues to support the exciting community action plans they’ve
The community councils have ensured that locally based companies
would be given the opportunity to tender for a significant
proportion of the available construction work if the project is
approved and this could result in an estimated £4 million of
contracts being awarded to firms based in Carrick and South Ayrshire.
The proposed turbines would be sited on land belonging to the
Cassillis and Culzean Estates, which has committed to funding a
major reinvestment programme across the Estates, which in turn will
provide further employment for local people and a long term boost
for the local economy.
The public exhibitions will take place on Monday 29th September at
Summer Church Hall in Maidens and Richmond Hall, Kennedy Hall in
Dunure on Tuesday 30th September and Carrick Centre in Maybole on
Wednesday October 1st, between 3pm and 7pm at all venues.