A planning application for the proposed Carrach Wind Farm five miles north west of Kirriemuir has been submitted to Angus Council by local landowners after three months of public consultation, research and adjustments to the original design.
The decision on the final layout and number of turbines for the site was made after comprehensive environmental assessment work and a series of public consultation meetings.
A survey conducted for the landowners during the consultation period found 57% of respondents supported the wind farm proposal.
Survey work was conducted by Realise Renewables on behalf of Carrach Wind Farm LLP, the project partnership, between March 23 and May 24. Survey leaflets were sent to all addresses in DD8 5, PH11 8 and DD8 4 postcode areas were completed online at www.carrachwindfarm.co.uk and at two public exhibitions in Kingoldrum and Kirriemuir.
A total of 115 surveys were completed. Thirty-five per cent of those questioned said they strongly supported the wind farm project, whilst 22% “supported” the plan, 8% had “no opinion”, 8% “objected” and 27% “strongly objected.” The decision has been taken in the final design to adjust the layout and reduce the number of turbines from ten to nine, each with a height to the tip of the blade of 84m.
The total revised capacity of the wind farm would now be 7.2 MW - which compares with the 37 MW capacity of the Drumderg Wind Farm near Alyth. The adjusted scheme would also reduce by 10% the proposed community fund available which is based on £5k per annum for every MW of installed capacity at the wind farm.
Speaking on behalf of the project partnership Alistair Lang said: “It’s been a long haul but we are pleased that the application is now in and that the planners can scrutinise our proposal at last. Angus has no wind farms at present, but with mounting interest for new developments we hope ours is a competitive proposal.
“It has been important to us all along to leave no stone un-turned in the design of this wind farm, which is why we have carried out extensive assessment work and public consultation to get the best layout that suits the site.
“This has meant dropping a single turbine from the original design and as a result there would be a slight reduction in the community fund available, however it’s possible that tax refunds could still boost it beyond the £40,000 a year level.”
On their website the landowners behind the project - G and K Richardson, Welton Farm, R and M Osborne, Kinclune Farm and Alistair Lang, Lower Welton Farm, explain the wind farm would help them to diversify their farm businesses “at a difficult time for the rural economy.”
They continue: “However we also want communities with a connection to the area to share in some of the financial rewards should the proposal be successful. Our neighbours in Alyth have already seen financial benefits come into their community from the Drumderg wind farm. It is our hope that Carrach Wind Farm can be Kingoldrum, Lintrathen and Kirriemuir’s contribution to Scotland’s energy and climate change challenges. At the same time we hope that the significant annual community benefit payments will enable those living in local communities to benefit from the project.”