Boundary set for forum

ONLY projects within an eight kilometre radius of the proposed Corse Hill Wind Farm would be eligible to benefit from a community cash turbine.

The proposals which would see a £21 million wind farm at Hatton, halfway between Arbroath and Carnoustie, will have one turbine out of the seven dedicated to the two communities.

Any profits made from this turbine will be ploughed back into charitable or community projects.

A community benefit forum has been created, independently chaired by former Angus Council chief David Sawers and they held their second meeting recently.

And following a detailed discussion, members of the forum decided not to use council ward or community council boundaries to determine the geographical boundaries for membership of the forum, on the grounds that the remit would be too far-reaching.

Instead the group decided that membership of the forum would be open to community representatives within eight kilometres of the proposed wind farm.

And chair Mr Sawers was happy a decision had been reached on the areas that could be set to benefit.

He said: “I am very pleased that the group has reached a decision regarding this important issue. We can now progress with discussions regarding the legal structure that would be most appropriate to distribute funds from the community benefit package should planning permission for the wind farm be granted.

“I would also like to clarify that, while a decision has been made regarding membership of the forum, this decision does not necessarily limit the distribution of potential funds to the eight kilometre radius.

“A further discussion will be held by the forum at a later date on this issue.”

Community councils, community groups and individuals within this area are able to contribute to the discussions and decisions made regarding the community benefit from the proposed development.

Should planning consent be granted it will be the forum members who will make recommendations to West Coast Energy regarding the mechanism and the eligibility criteria for distribution of funds from the community turbine,.

West Coast Energy, a Welsh based company, announced in July last year their plans for a wind farm between the A92 dual carriageway and the east coast mainline railway.

They estimate that taking into account all that would be needed during a construction phase, it would be worth £4.2 million to the economies of Arbroath and Carnoustie.

A planning application for the development is currently lodged with Angus Council.

The next meeting of the community benefit forum will be held on February 21 at 7 p.m. at Angus College.

For further information, please contact Ellie Casson at eleanor.casson@invictapa.co.uk.

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