Charity wind turbine plan starts storm of criticism
Campaigners are up in arms after a planning application was lodged for a controversial wind turbine in Cambuslang.
Rutherglen-based charitable trust Healthy ‘n’ Happy this week asked South Lanarkshire Council’s planning committee to agree their request to erect a 76-metre turbine.
But residents of Loanend and Flemington Farm Cottages hit out at the planning process.
Liisa Hepworth, a spokesperson for the residents, said: “Our community is in shock.
“A 50- metre mast, which is meant to monitor wind conditions and help determine whether a turbine is suitable, was only erected on Friday.
“How can that data possibly be established after only a couple of days?” said the mum-of-three.
Angry residents say the speedy application makes a mockery of the planning process.
“These masts are meant to be up for at least year to measure and assess the wind,” added Liisa, (45).
She says that the £17,000 cost of the mast came from the public purse but it has never been used for its intended purpose.
“It just appears to be a waste of public funds,” she added.
“I’ve got nothing against the charity but it’s all about money for Healthy ‘n’ Happy. They don’t care about the environmental impact or what it means to us as a community,” she said.
“This could seriously affect all of us. After all, who would want to buy a house here if there was a 76-metre turbine at the back of it?”
Now the community are organising a campaign against the proposal.
Liisa said: “Our opposition has the backing of Margaret Ferrier MP and we are hoping the council will ill listenli sympatheticallyh i ll to our point of view.”
But Brendan Rooney, executive director of Healthy ‘n’ Happy, said the charity are “fully committed” to the wind turbine project.
“The income stream from this proposal is needed to help support our work for the benefit of the community,” he said.
“I fully understand that some people don’t like turbines in their neighbourhood but survey work we have carried out shows this is the optimum site.”
Mr Rooney said the organisation have tried to mitigate concerns that residents have.
“We have listened carefully many times to what they have to say,” he added.
He also stressed that data from the wind mast would be gathered for at least the next year in order to back their business plan for the turbine.bi
“The council will decide when our application will be considered and even if it is successful there is still a lot of work to be done,” he said.
“The turbine won’t be erected within one year.”
Margaret Ferrier MP said: “I want to see more energy generated from renewable sources.
“With a community initiative like this, though, it is important that members of the local area do not feel alienated and uninvolved in the process.
“Healthy ‘n’ Happy are a fantastic organisation and I would hope to see more engagement with those living near the proposed turbine before this proceeds further.”
A South Lanarkshire Council spokesman confirmed that a planning application for the turbine had been lodged.