NEWS…..NEWS…..NEWS…..NEWS…..

Approved - 19 November 2009

PROPOSED LANARKSHIRE WIND FARM PLANS GOING ON SHOW

Plans for a new wind farm in south Lanarkshire are set to go on show at three public exhibitions next month.

Hamilton-based firm Banks Developments is putting forward plans for the Kype Muir scheme, and has begun preparing a scoping report for the proposed development on commercial forestry and grazing land over 2kms south of Strathaven and over 7km west of Lesmahagow.

Detailed proposals for the scheme, which is located in a ‘preferred area of search’ for wind farm development, are still being finalised, but it is expected that it will encompass between 35 and 45 turbines.  Although an application is approximately 12 months away Banks Developments is keen to engage at an early stage with the local community.

If the plans are approved, a community benefits fund would be set up to provide a range of long-term benefits for the communities around the scheme, including a package of measures designed to help address energy efficiency and fuel poverty issues in the area.

Around 200 jobs would be expected to be created through the construction of the Kype Muir project, with Banks looking to utilise Scottish construction industry’s renewables expertise to complete this work, should the scheme be approved.

A full public consultation exercise around the proposals will be undertaken by Banks over the coming months, beginning with three public exhibitions at which local people will be able to find out more details about the proposals and provide initial feedback on current plans.

The first of these exhibitions will be held at the Jubilee Hall on Wellwood Road in Lesmahagow between 3pm and 7pm on Tuesday 8 December, with the other two happening between the same times on the following day at the public Institute on New Street in Stonehouse, and at the Barrie Shelter in Strathaven Park.

Members of the Banks team will be on hand at each event to answer visitors’ questions about the new proposals and would welcome feedback and ideas from the local community.

Banks Developments is quickly establishing itself as one of the leading companies in the UK wind farm sector, alongside its other interests in surface mining, property and waste, and was behind the construction of north east England’s largest wind farm development, near its own offices at Tow Law in County Durham.

Rob Williams, Renewables Projects Director at Banks Developments, says: “The Scottish government has built up substantial momentum in establishing the country as a leader in renewable energy production, and our proposals aim to build on this momentum by creating a wind farm which would power thousands of Lanarkshire homes without generating any harmful greenhouse gases.

“Our initial analysis shows that the area is very likely to be an environmentally suitable location for a wind farm development, and we are confident that we will be able to create a scheme which is acceptable to local people and provides significant amounts of renewable energy,

“Feedback from local people plays an important part in shaping all the proposals that we put forward, and we hope as many people as possible will be able to attend our initial public exhibitions next month to give their opinions of our plans and to ask any questions they might have.

“Onshore wind power generation through schemes such as this will play a crucial part in meeting both Scotland’s and the wider UK’s energy requirements for the foreseeable future, and we are confident that this scheme will be of significant benefit to both the communities around it and the wider region.”

Anyone who is unable to attend the exhibitions, but who wants further information about the Kype Muir proposal should contact Siobhan Samson at Banks Developments on 01698 477410 or via kypemuir@hjbanks.com
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For further press information, please contact Julian Christopher at Footprint Public Relations on 07891 005034 or via julianchristopher@btinternet.com

Notes to editors

The Banks Group was founded in 1976 in County Durham.  It now employs 350 people across offices in County Durham, Hamilton and Chesterfield.  It specialises in major projects in the renewable energy, property, surface coal mining and waste management sectors.

Banks’ ‘Development With Care’ approach ensures sites are developed in close consultation with the community as well as carrying out extensive environmental assessments.