AN INDEPENDENT body set up to protect the interests of communities in the area around a proposed new seven-turbine windfarm at Clatto Hill has given an update on the benefit package that should be secured if the application gets the go-ahead.
The Devon Wood Wind Farm Liaison Forum said it would be distributing leaflets through the doors of homes in the Kingskettle Community Council area to update residents on its discussions with developer West Coast Energy.
The group, chaired by Kennoway minister Rev. Richard Baxter, said it had managed to increase the amount of money paid to the community of £3000 per megawatt to £3500.
This means that if planning permission is granted by Fife Council the immediate area around Clatto Hill — including Kennoway, Windygates, Milton of Balgonie and Star of Markinch as well as the Kettle area — stands to benefit to the tune of £62,150 per year for the next 25 years rather than the £52,500 first mooted.
Explaining how the management of funds could work, Rev. Baxter said: “Members of the forum indicated that they would be prepared to facilitate the creation of a community development trust in order to administer a community benefit if the need arose
“A trust would support a range of community-based projects within areas most impacted by the potential development.
“The planning issued are the responsibility of Fife Council, so the Devon Wood Wind Farm Liaison Forum will not be taking any further action until the determination of the application.”
Explaining that members of the forum hold a wide range of views on the development, he added: “We have worked together to protect local interests as far as possible with regard to the community benefit package.
“I’m grateful to all those who participated in discussions over the last few months.”
Thanking the forum for its involvement, West Coast Energy’s planning and development director Stephen Salt said: “I would like to thank Rev. Richard Baxter for acting as independent chairperson for the Devon Wood Wind Farm Liaison Forum as well as those who have taken part in the discussions over the past few months.”