Councillor Calls on Kennedy Renewable to withdraw extension plans

A Local councillor has called on Kennedy Renewables, owners of the Little Raith Wind Farm, to be a ‘genuine community partner’ and withdraw their application to extend the facility by a further 6 turbines and also ‘share more of the profits with the local communities’. Councillor Mark Hood who represents Lochgelly and Cardenden has written to the energy company asking they scrap plans ‘out of respect for our communities’. In the letter Mr Hood writes ‘Putting in place a land based wind turbine policy to protected communities in Fife was a manifesto commitment I was elected on. So as part of the Council Executive I welcomed and approved the updated policy which gives Fife communities this added protection. It is against this policy and through discussions with members of the community and officers of Fife council I believe what is proposed in your application is not suitable and would have an over bearing impact on the local landscape. ‘I have had not one member of the community express anything but concern at the negative impact additional wind turbines would have in the area. So I would ask as a mark of respect to our communities that you withdraw your current application and seek to gain consensus within the area for any plans you have to develop the Little Raith Wind farm.’ In his letter Mr Hood also addresses concerns over the level of funding provided  from the Wind Farm to local communities ‘the level of £2k per MW was agreed by council officers as part of the planning process and as a local authority we have no power to increase these payments in line with the current guidance of £5k per MW now specified by the Scottish Government. However there is nothing preventing Kennedy Renewables from voluntarily increasing the payments to the £5k per MW rate. This would see payments into the community benefit fund increasing from £49k to over £120k per year and would allow the fund to start to make a real difference to our community. I would ask that you consider making this voluntary increase and in doing so show that Kennedy genuinely wish to make a positive contribution to the local communities.’ ‘The communities that surround the Little Raith Wind Farm are some of the highest areas of deprivation in Scotland. You can understand how perverse it is to local people that the community benefit is so little while so much profit is being made by Kennedy Renewables. If Kennedy Renewables is to be considered a true partner of our communities they should seek to share more of the profits with the community.’

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