The proposed wind farm is on land at Littlegill Farm, 2.2km north-east of Abington and 4km north of Crawford in the Clydesdale East ward of South Lanarkshire. It is located within the Duneaton Community Council area, and community consultation throughout the development lifetime has therefore been largely focused on the neighbouring Community Council areas of Crawford and Duneaton.
The original development is for a site including 7 turbines with maximum blade tip heights of up to 145m, and was consented by the DPEA in December 2018 (South Lanarkshire Council ref: CL/17/0009, DPEA ref: PPA-380-2075).
Muirhall reviewed the Consented Development design and submitted a Section 42 variation to the consent to South Lanarkshire Council in November 2019 to allow larger turbines, maximising electricity generation whilst ensuring that environmental effects remained acceptable. The Section 42 application seeks to revise the turbine dimensions to allow turbines of up to 200m tip height, with the exception of two turbines, which would be restricted to 180m tip height. The Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIA-R) was prepared to assess the environmental impacts of the Proposed Development and accompanied the Section 42 application. Public exhibitions were held in Roberton Hall in 2019 following submission of the Section 42 application.
The development at Priestgill wind farm would bring a unique opportunity for the local community to own up to 10% of the wind farm. The Developer has made an offer to the 2 closest community councils, and to date, discussions have been positive.
The Shared Ownership model we are using for Crossdykes Wind Farm is at a more advanced stage, and as such we would expect this model to be used for Priestgill Wind Farm, should it be successful.
In addition to the shared ownership offering, there will be community investment regardless of whether the shared ownership offering is taken up.
The requested tip height variation would increase the expected energy production of the wind farm, and therefore the Community Investment associated with the wind farm would increase from £112,000 to £196,000 per annum for local communities based on £5,000 per installed megawatt per annum, index linked for the operational lifetime of the project. This equates to £4.9 million over the lifetime of the Proposed Development, compared to £2.8 million for the Consented Development, i.e. and increase of £2.1 million.
To date, the Developer has proposed Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) to the two closest Community Councils.