Chair appointed to wind farm forum

THE FORMER chief executive of Angus Council is to chair a forum that will consult with the company wanting to bring a £21 million wind farm to land between Arbroath and Carnoustie.

David Sawers will now be the independent chair of the group, which will discuss ways in which funds from the community turbine can be spread amongst the two towns.

The firm behind the plans, West Coast Energy, proposes to build seven turbines known as Corse Hill Wind Farm, with one turbine being donated to the community.

The money made from this turbine will be ploughed back into groups, organisations and projects in Arbroath and Carnoustie.

On Tuesday evening, the community benefit forum met for the first time, with a range of community representatives attending including members of both Arbroath and Carnoustie Community Councils.

Mr Sawers will chair the forum for six months with the group deciding on which projects should benefit from any cash the community turbine produces.

He said: “I am pleased to take up this role of independent chair of the Corse Hill Wind Farm community benefit forum.

“I hope to facilitate a dialogue amongst the local communities represented, to ensure a fair and even settlement is reached with regards to the proposed community benefit.

“I will also make sure that the communities relevant to the proposed wind farm are kept informed of the progress of the forum as discussions develop.”

Steve Salt, the planning and development director at West Coast Energy, was pleased with the appointment of Mr Sawers and hopes the community benefit forum will be a success.

He added: “We are delighted that David has accepted our invitation to take up the role of independent chair of the Corse Hill Wind Farm community benefit forum.

“It is our desire to continue to engage with local residents and to ensure they have a way to express their views on the community benefit aspects of this proposal.

“The job of independent chair will allow us to be fully aware of views held locally about community benefits.”

West Coast Energy submitted planning permission for the wind farm last month and are awaiting a decision from Angus Council.

If it gets the go ahead, it would generate enough energy to power 10,000 homes each year in a 25-year life span.

The development would be located approximately 3km east of Carnoustie, 2.5km west of Arbroath and 2km south-west of Arbirlot.