£4m boost for economy from £21m wind farm

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PLANS for a new £21 million wind farm between Arbroath and Carnoustie could bring over £4 million to the town’s local economy.

On Tuesday evening, Welsh-based firm West Coast Energy launched a proposal to build seven turbines on farmland between the A92 dual carriageway and the East Coast mainline near to Hatton.

The turbines, which would reach up to 126 metres in height, could generate enough electricity to supply 10,000 homes.

And taking into account the local contractors, engineers and materials that will be needed during the construction phase of the project, the farm could be worth £4.2 million to the economies of Arbroath and Carnoustie.

West Coast Energy travelled to the area on Tuesday to hold a meeting with invited members of the community at Angus College to outline their plans.

And they also revealed that one turbine would be designated to the community, meaning money generated from it would raise cash for local projects and organisations.

Planning and development director Stephen Salt said that there would be many benefits to the local community from the proposed wind farm.

He explained: “Some work will be sourced locally which we think will provide £4.2 million for Arbroath and Carnoustie.

“Other workers will also have to stay in the local area and they will also be spending money in the local economy.

“We also plan to give the returns from one of the turbines to local community groups with the community turbine idea being a fairly new initiative.

“We have already been in contact with the Carnoustie Centre Action Group about the Kinloch Centre benefiting and we will also be looking at opportunities within Arbroath too.”

The site near to the Hatton Water Treatment Works has been chosen by the company after studies revealed large amounts of winds could be harvested to produce electricity.

Nearby links to the A92 were also a factor in deciding on the location as were other studies which the firm claim showed there would be little or no environmental impacts.

An application for planning permission could be submitted to Angus Council by the autumn, but in the meantime West Coast Energy is keen to engage with the public to get their views.

The Corse Hill project manager, Samantha Crosby, says everybody’s views on the project will be taken into account before plans are submitted.

She said: “As with all of our wind farm developments, West Coast Energy will be looking to create a purposeful and effective dialogue with the local community at an early stage in the proceedings in order that the community view is taken into account as the proposals move forward.

“We will be able to provide more detailed information on the seven-turbine development at our public exhibitions later in July and will be extending this invite to members of the public who would like to find out more about both us as a company and our proposals for Corse Hill.

“We will be announcing the details of the public exhibitions in due course and hope that the community will attend to learn more about our proposals.”

Early details about the site show that it will occupy 2.2 hectares and the turbines, which will be a similar sizes to those at Baldovie in Dundee, will be visible from the A92.

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