Residents hope for wind of change

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A SCOTTISH government research project will investigate the impact Neilston community wind farm has on the community.

The facility, in which the people of Neilston bought a 28 per cent share, is one of 10 Scottish wind farms included in the study.

Uplawmoor resident Aileen Jackson hopes the study will bring to light the “epic failures” of the developers and ERC.

She told The Extra: “No other windfarm of this size has ever been consented without an Environmental Impact Assesment.

“The only reason it was passed is because it is a community windfarm and will benefit the Neilston community to the tune of £10million over 25 years.

“Unfortunately they deposited it in Uplawmoor’s backyard without even consulting us. We get no financial benefit whatsoever. A case of one community benefiting to the detriment of another.”

However, Joss Blamire, senior policy manager for Scottish Renewables, argues Neilston windfarm’s planning application adhered to strict guidlines.

He said: “Applications are submitted to the relevant planning authority to ensure that developers have adhered to set standards, with only those sites deemed acceptable granted permission.

“We hope the results of the ClimateXChange Wind Farm Impacts Study will be used to show the high standards the industry upholds and to help update existing good practice guidelines.”

The study is commissioned by ClimateXChange upon the request of the Scottish government.

An East Renfrewshire council spokesman said: “It will examine the impacts of wind farms in terms of noise, visual and shadow-flicker impacts. The purpose is to inform best practice in guidelines for developers and planning authorities. Neilston Community Windfarm is one of ten that will be studied”.

The results wiil be known at the end of 2014.