Massive new wind farm planned for southern fringes of West Lothian
The 14 turbines - all but three up to almost 600ft tall - will be built on a forestry site south of Fauldhouse and bring windfall cash into the Breich valley villages.
Plans currently before Scottish ministers were sent to West Lothian and South Lanarkshire Council for consultation.
The wind farm will be built and operated by the French energy supplier EDF. Plans were approved at the monthly meeting of West Lothian Council’s Development Management Committee.
South Lanarkshire Council which will have ten of the turbines in its boundary has already approved the plan.
The councils are statutory consultees on the application made to Scottish Government
In a report to committee case officer Tony Irving said: “The application site is some 2km (1.2m) to the south of Breich, 3km (1.8m) to the south east of Fauldhouse and 2km (1.2m) to the west of Woolfords.
“The site area extends to approximately 831 hectares (2,000 acres)and lies mostly within the administrative area of South Lanarkshire Council with only the northern portion being within West Lothian. The application site comprises a commercial forestry plantation known as Heathland Forest which is managed on behalf of Scottish Ministers by Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS)”.
The four turbines within the West Lothian boundary will be among the 11 tallest at 590ft. Three of the 14 will climb to 490ft.
There have been no objections to the plan and one letter of support from Fauldhouse Community Development Trust.
The report highlighted that the applicant proposes that the wind farm will contribute £5,000 per megawatt installed capacity to a community fund. This will result in an annual value of up to £400,000 per year. With a 30 year consent- the expected operational life of the farm- this would provide some £12 million in community benefit payments.
More than £2m has been paid to West Lothian by the existing five wind farms in the area. The money is managed and distributed by an independent trust – West Lothian Community Development Trust – which has industry representatives-local community representatives and elected councillors on it.
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