Cowdenbeath MSP Alex Rowley has written to all Community Councils in his constituency highlighting the case of Neilston Community Wind Farm where the local community will receive a £10 million return over the lifetime of their project and is asking communities to look at such developments when considering any future proposals for wind turbines in their areas.
In his letter he stated; “I am writing to draw your attention to a document I recently came across which outlines how a local community has been able to have a share in a community wind farm that will result in millions of pounds going back into that community.
“As you will know Fife Council carried out a full review of its land wind energy policy some time ago and now has very clear guidance on where there is any room for further development of wind turbines. I am keen that given the limited capacity for any further turbines in our part of Fife, that any possible new developments are looked at from a community perspective and the option of the community having ownership is explored.
He argued; “In terms of the wind farms that have been put up so far in this area I would have to say that the community payment benefits are poor and whilst the owners are walking away with multi million pound profits the communities are getting a pittance.
Mr Rowley said; “I am hoping that by drawing this case study to community attention we can all be more proactive in supporting community ownership of renewable developments. There are currently two applications in our area one at Little Raith which I believe should be refused on the grounds of over capacity in that area and the other in Blairadam Forrest which should also be refused on the ground this is a protected area. Little Raith is a good example where the owners refuse point blank to even reconsider making the community payments up to what is the national accepted standard payment and in doing so they are only really interested in their profits. We must not let this kind of greed continue and hence my view that we must look at community ownership for any further developments”.