Wind Farm Community Benefits.

In the spring of 2012 Renewable Energy Systems (RES) announced that the community benefits, generated by the Kelburn wind farm development, would be ring fenced to benefit only the communities of Fairlie, Largs and Cumbrae. This led to many questions being asked as to why Dalry and other Garnock Valley communities were being excluded from access to this fund. Even with the implementation of the revised community council boundaries, RES still refuse to allow the Dalry Community access to the £48k annual community benefit.
Further investigation also established that Dalry Parish / Post Code KA24  was being significantly short changed as the host community to12 of the 14 Kelburn Wind Farm Turbines (RES), Dalry Community Wind Farm (Wardlaw Wood -  CWPL), Millour Hill (CWPL) and 2 of the Ardrossan Wind Farm Turbines (Infinis).

As the Dalry Parish / Post Code KA24 hosts the majority of the on-shore renewable energy developments in North Ayrshire, the community of Dalry could have expected to be the beneficiary of the majority of the community income donated by the renewable developers.
As Dalry Parish / KA24 Post Code hosts approximately 70 MW of installed capacity, an annual income of £5k x 70 = £350,000.00 could have potentially been secured. 
In 2014 and 2015 Local Councillors and Dalry Community Council were informed of the findings.

Currently Community WindPower Ltd. contributes voluntary community benefits to Dalry schools, clubs and associations from their Wardlaw Wood and Millour Hill developments.
As CWPL have, on a number of occasions, change their declared value of community benefit per MW installed, it has been extremely difficult to determine how much should have been donated, and where the voluntary contributions were allocated.
We now know that the previous DCC did not get involved in any issues related to Community Benefit negotiations or financial management and, since the first installation of Wind Farm developments within the Dalry Parish in 2006, the community of Dalry would appear to have received an average of £10,000.00 per annum in real money from CWPL.

When CWPL appealed in June 2014 to the North Ayrshire Council Local Review Body, for approval of the 2 additional turbines proposed for Millour Hill, they committed to no further developments in the vicinity of this location. NAC planning officers provided guidance to the LRB, recommending refusal of the planning application. Councillor Robert Barr, however, proposed acceptance of the planning application, and Councillor John Bell seconded his proposal.
CWPL has now facilitated the establishing of the Dalry Parish Boundary Trust, chaired by Robert Barr, to receive and distribute the community benefits generated from the Millour Hill Wind Farm. 

The CWPL application process for Blackshaw Community Wind Farm was refused by NAC and then rejected at appeal to Scottish Ministers. The proposed development lies West of Dalry and is situated between and adjacent to the existing Ardrossan and Millour Hill Wind Farm developments. Will CWPL make a further application?

Ardrossan, the proposed Blackshaw development, Millour Hill, Dalry Community Wind Farm and Kelburn Wind Farm will result in (15 + 6 + 8 + 6 + 14)  48 turbines, with a total installed capacity of approx 115 MW.

In the North Ayrshire hills above and around Dalry, there is the potential to secure annual community benefits of  £5k x 115 =£575,000.00     
This could result in an income of more than £14 m over the 25 year life span of the developments.

Arran, Stevenston, Ardrossan, West Kilbride, Fairlie, Largs, Cumbrae and the Garnock Valley communities will all be engaging with the developers to secure the best deal for their community.
Is this something DCDH should undertake on behalf of the community it now represents? 
By tackling retrospective issues, and ensuring that the best deal is negotiated where new developments are proposed, Dalry should be better placed to benefit from the continued industrialisation of the uplands within its Parish Boundary / Post Code KA24. 


updated- 31/01/2017

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