The proposed Longburn Wind Farm on land east of Carsphairn in Dumfries and Galloway has been recommended for refusal by Dumfries and Galloway Council Officials.
The proposed development is located approximately 6 km due east of Carsphairn and consists of ten turbines. Each turbine would have a blade tip height of 134m and a capacity of up to 2MW, giving the development a total capacity of up to 20MW.
As part of the application the company is proposing to replicate successful community ownership, community benefit and procurement models they have employed at their Sandy Knowe Wind Farm in Upper Nithsdale, which was consented by Dumfries and Galloway Council in March last year. At Sandy Knowe, Burcote agreed a community ownership deal with two Community Councils local to the site and developed a bespoke procurement policy, which offered local companies a 5% price advantage when tendering for contracts on the development. In addition to repeating this model at Longburn, if consented the new development would create a Community Benefit Fund of up to £100,000 per annum or approximately £2.5m over the lifetime of the project.
Burcote Wind has also signed an MoU with CS Wind, Scotland’s only turbine tower manufacturer, to work together on each of their Scottish projects where possible, including Longburn if consented.
Responding to the recommendation, Fraser Campbell, Operations Director at Burcote Wind said:
“We are understandably disappointed by the recommendation of Council Officials to refuse our Longburn Wind Farm.
“While the recommendation is based on landscape and visual and cultural heritage impacts, we have had no objections from either SNH or Historic Environment Scotland. We have been working on the site for over five years now and worked closely, with the communities over the years to ensure that our application is well designed and suited to the site.”
“We have also made both community benefit and community ownership offers to the local communities and committed to a preferential local procurement policy.”
“We respect the Planner’s position, however we do not agree with their representation of our application. We are looking forward to making a positive case for the Longburn Wind Farm and are confident of a fair hearing at Committee next week.”
Commenting on Burcote’s local procurement strategy, Brian Richardson, Chief Executive of Dumfries & Galloway Chamber of Commerce added:
“The Chamber welcomes the commitment of Burcote and ERG to providing a price advantage for local companies working with them in Dumfries & Galloway. This is a very positive and innovative model and is one which we fully support as we believe it is vitally important for developers to build a network of local contacts and provide as much local content as possible.”
Tom Barrie, Owner at local logistics company, Currie European:
“As a significant local employer we commend Burcote’s approach and especially welcome their commitment to a preferential local procurement policy. This could provide a real opportunity for Currie European and other Dumfries and Galloway based companies to establish mutually beneficial partnerships in the region and would protect the ability of local companies to compete within an increasingly challenging marketplace.”