Press Release from WilloWind

The following press release has been issued by WilloWind, the developers of the Linfairn site which is split across two areas; Linfairn and Dyke/Knockgardner. Feel free to post any comments you might have.

WilloWind Energy has underlined its commitment to listen to local residents over its plans for a wind farm in South Ayrshire by announcing that it is to review the proposal.
WilloWind Energy had sought the views of the local community in advance of the submission of a planning application for a project to create a wind farm with 29 turbines near the village of Straiton.
But after holding a public exhibition on the plans in January and considering the responses from residents, the company is now looking to change both the number and locations of the turbines.
The revised layout will now see 25 turbines on the site, with turbine nearest to Straiton to be relocated more than 2km south west from the village to fully comply with the Scottish Government’s guideline on a 2km separation distance between turbines and town/villages.
The information on the revised plans is being circulated to all stakeholders and interested parties, including all residents who provided contact details at the January public exhibition in Straiton.
Martin Davie, CEO of WilloWind Energy, said the new plans reflect a well designed scheme that fully takes into account the large amount of local consultation.
He said: “We take community concerns very seriously and have sought to involve local people, politicians and interested parties to progress this development with sensitivity.
“We have been totally transparent in outlining our proposal and in recognising the Scottish Government’s policy on a 2km separation distance between turbines and town/villages, although it should be stressed this is a guide not a rule.
“Some of the people we spoke to felt three of the turbines were just a bit too close to the village. So we’ve taken the positive decision to remove them from the application.
“This means there will be no turbines within two kms of the village.
“We believe this will counter the main issues of concern with this proposal.
“It is a clear endorsement of what we said we’d do – that is to listen to the views of the community to help us determine the final shape of our planning application to the Scottish Government.
“I also hope this media statement clarifies any confusion that may have been caused in the local community over the 2km separation distance between the turbines and Straiton that stems from inaccurate information attributed to WilloWind Energy in a recent article in The Daily Telegraph.
“In addition to generating significant amounts of renewable energy, which would make a major contribution towards meeting Scotland’s renewable targets, this project would also bring a range of other benefits to the local area, from new jobs and commercial opportunities for local businesses through to funding for a range of community benefits.”
WilloWind Energy hopes to submit a formal planning application, which will detail the revised layout, to the Scottish Government within the next six weeks.
Mr Davie also said he doubted whether concerns from residents about a possible five planning applications for wind farms around Straiton would be borne out.
He said: “A great deal of careful planning and consultation has gone into ensuring the Linfairn wind farm has minimal negative impact and brings a real and lasting benefit to the local community.
“Our project is the next application to be considered by Scottish Government but I would be very surprised if we see plans progress for all five applications for wind farms in the area.”

18 thoughts on “Press Release from WilloWind

  1. Totally disingenuous statement by Mr Davie. If he was so “transparent” in his approach and so concerned for local views, he would not have had to be pressed into the 2km line, even though it is a “recommendation”. Please have the bottle to admit your interest is first commercial, and last commercial – or should I say profit!! And just exactly what kind of benefits and jobs flow to the local community? Oh, of course, they are a wonderful tourist attraction!! It’s time true democracy was imposed and local views heeded – and the whole thing scrapped!

  2. I’m concerned that Mr. Davie keeps emphasising the proximity of the wind turbines to the village, when in fact there are a number of homes outwith the village (including mine), but within closer proximity to the proposed wind farms. I think most people also made it clear at the community meeting that we don’t want financial compensation if these wind farms are built, we just don’t want the wind farms around here full stop! So much for listening to the community Mr. Davie.

    • The statement by Mr D is full of cotton wool and corporate speak! Do not trust someone to have local interests at heart, who is answerable to shareholders. The two are utterly incompatible! Little is known about the true beneficiaries of these schemes, but likely they are: 1) WillowWind (should read Willow-the-Wisp), 2) Landowner, 3) Windmill manufacturers, 4) AN Others – and not even on the list, the local community! Buy cheap electricity from France and be done with this objectionable unsightly monstrosity!!

      • Les,
        The beneficiaries of the scheme (in addition to those you mention). Is a wind fund set up by Altium Investment Bank. Balbourne Wind Fund no 1 – is the only shareholder of Willowind Linfairn, and the seedling funding was created by 35 initial investors (Willowind Initial Investors LLP). The remainder of the funding comes from a Swiss Venture Capital firm (27.8m USD in May 2011) called b-to-v Partners AG. This information comes directly from the KPMG M&A report (page 35).

        http://www.kpmg.com/CH/en/Library/Articles-Publications/MA-Yearbooks/Documents/pub-20120125-MA-Yearbook-2012-en.pdf

        The Venture Capitalists themselves brag about the easy planning route and high profits – not to mention the % approval rates for windfarms in Scotland as being their primary motive for investment. See (google translated) press statement they released:

        “The current wind farm project has convinced us because of the high stability of planning, the experienced team and the above-average earnings prospects.”

        Apart from the positive expected returns, the high approval rates for wind farms and the ambitious objectives of the Scottish Government in the area of ​​renewable energy were crucial for the investment the approval rate of wind turbines in Scotland is around 60 percent. “

  3. Can we not point out to Mr Davie that the scoping documents always stated 25 turbines. So what exactly has been sensitively changed? The below from their website was last revised in Feb 2012. Did they forget that nimbys can read?

    http://www.willowindenergy.com/docs/00_Linfairn_EIA_Scoping_Report_B1.pdf

    I have also asked (twice now) for details regarding jobs that might become available in the local area – but surprisingly have not even had an acknowledgement.

  4. I forgot to mention that In December we returned a form supplied by WilloWind asking us about our water supply (I assume everyone in the vicinity got one?). The freshwater spring source is at the top of the hill behind our house, which abuts the smaller of the proposed Linfairn wind farms. At their exhibition I asked if WilloWind could assure us that the groundwork to house the turbines would not impact on the flow or quality of our natural water supply. I was informed by one of the WilloWind staff that the surveyors had already been on site to look at these aspects, and I responded that no-one had come to speak to us despite our vigilance in supplying them information about it! Despite taking my details again, and my husband emailing WilloWind several times, no-one has as yet been to speak to us. So much for taking into consideration some of the important factors concerning development of the wind farms – how much more important is a water supply to a home?! It’s not a good start, Mr. Davie.

  5. The standard weasel words you would expect form a company that is starting to sound desperate.
    If Willow had ‘listened to the local community’ it would have upsticks and found another site.
    Remember what the Barr lady said at the public meeting. Don’t believe a word they say they just lie and lie.
    I have sent them two emails with no response……yea they really are listening to us.

    Keep it up guys I think we are starting to win.

  6. It’s politics that matter at the end of the day. The rhetoric from the PR company that WilloWind have employed will continue to splurg out the false promises of jobs, significant contributions to Scotland’s Energy, community funds etc but the decision on whether this project goes ahead lies with the Scottish Government and votes matter to politicians – we need to make sure we all make our objections known to the real decision makers.

    Letter writing day today – I’ve got my ones drafted up!

    Andy

    • Great stuff!
      Pens, paper, printer (for those with laptops, tablets etc) and tea and coffee (£1 contribution which will go to campaign funds) all available along with addresses of politicians and newspapers. Another one will be held tomorrow morning between 10-12 in the Reading Room of the McCandlish Hall – all welcome.

      • I’m currently in Europe for another 12 months, so can’t attend meetings, but would also like to send a letter. May I suggest relevant politician (and other) names and adresses be posted on this site, for all to see (no doubt vested interest parties follow the comments). That way we also demonstrate our genuine “transparency”l!!

  7. Standard practice – draw up (the unacceptable but) what you want, add on some clearly outrageous bits, publicise, withraw the ourageous bits, say you have listened to public opinion, so what is all the fuss about? THE FUSS IS ABOUT THE UNACCEPTABLE.
    Tony Waterson

  8. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/windpower/9844140/Foreign-firms-100bn-wind-farm-subsidies.html
    Please read this and links to associated articles. The saga of wind-farm energy fills me with rage and a sense of impotence. Never has such a dubious enterprise been foisted on so many hapless citizens by so few self-interested politicians and get-rich-at-any-price speculators. What at first was a ‘novelty’ is now an unsightly scandal, not to mention the potential hazards and socio-economic impact on those in their immediate shadow! But not just them, the rest of us who value the beauty of our landscape. For a government which pretends to be pro-Scottish, it is now busy ‘selling it’s birthright for a mess of pottage’ i.e. tourism enriches entire communities, wind-farms enrich none of them. Excuse my mixing my metaphors, but it really is time to man the barricades!! Oh, it makes me boil!

  9. I did have a wee chuckle when I ready this from Mr Davie:

    ‘“Some of the people we spoke to felt three of the turbines were just a bit too close to the village. So we’ve taken the positive decision to remove them from the application.”

    Compare this to a statement from Banks Renewables just over a month ago:

    http://www.banksgroup.co.uk/wind-farm-developer-keeps-listening/

    ““In this case some of the people we spoke to felt a couple of the turbines were just a bit too close to the village. So we’ve taken the positive decision to remove them from the application.”

    wow! Looks like the art of ctrl C and ctrl V are well used in the windfarm industry!

  10. GET A GRIP PEOPLE OF STRAITON. IT’S ALL U INCOMERS THATS RUINING STRAITON NOT THE WINDMILLS. THE SIGNS ARE TACKY AND NEED REMOVED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • I totally agree, Steven, the banners around the village are an eyesore. Fortunately they are only 3 and 4 feet high and are only temporary. They not over 400ft, positioned on top of a hill, causing misery to those unfortunate enough to have them only a few hundred metres from their homes which could devastate their quality of life through noise pollution and shadow flicker; not to mention their homes could be virtually unsellable (as has happened near Barr). We want to draw attention to the fact that these are threatening this beautiful village and surrounding landscape. We want to preserve this unspoilt corner of South Ayrshire for future generations. I like the fact you have called us people of Straiton! We are, and we care passionately about our parish.

      • Incomers or not, we are all as passionate about living here, and contribute to things like keeping the shop and the public toilets open, so that residents and visitors alike can have these amenities available to them. I’d also like to think that by fighting these wind farms I’ve contributed to future generations (Scottish or otherwise) being able to enjoy the beauty and tranquility of this valley, especially as the high technology lifestyle they will probably lead will need to be balanced by some “down time” away from it. If we allow the indiscriminate siting of wind farms where will they find the places to do this? The construction of wind farms is not something that can be retracted once they are on site, and future generations may not be looking at these monstrous machines so favourably because there is unlikely to be anyone interested in maintaining them (certainly not the wind energy companies).

    • Lets rise above the personal slanging match and try not to divide the community further. I am not sure of your personal ”incomer” definition, but due to the very nature of the current economic climate, the community, to exist, has to rely on incomers to the village, there are no longer weaving jobs here. Now people must generally commute, retire or farm. The school has incomer and farming stock children alike. can we just please rise above it and get on with supporting our own opinions as to the wind farms, which ever way, without being personal?

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