Second Hill Rig windfarm fight begins

A piece of this wind turbine has broken off at Longpark wind farm near Stow.
A piece of this wind turbine has broken off at Longpark wind farm near Stow.

THE ‘Battle of Hill Rig’ has re-started with a new bid to build eight wind turbines as high as the Forth Bridge on land between Lanark and Carluke.

Last year the Gazette reported on the long-running campaign by residents in the area opposed to the £36m. windfarm at Hill Rig on Greenbank Farm, Kilncadzow, a fight they thought they had won when developers Community Windpower Ltd. had their planning application refused by South Lanarkshire Council.

However, this has proved to be just a lull in the war, with the developers formally re-submitting their application for the 400-foot-high turnbines this week; the council is set to come to a decision on this new application at its September planning committee meeting.

The re-application coming so quickly after the original one was knocked back by the council has angered objectors, including nearby resident Suzanne Darroch, a who told the Gazette: “It seems that we are going to have to start fighting this all over again after thinking the issue was settled last year.

“I understand that Community Windpower has sent out consultation letters to surrounding Community Councils such as Carluke and Carnwath’s, but not to Lanark’s for some reason. Perhaps that’s because the Lanark council objected last year when the first application was made.”

As with last year’s application, Community Windfarm is keen to stress the benefits the developmnent could bring to the area, not least the £3.5m it claims local good causes would receive over the windfarm’s 25-year lifespan through a ‘Community Benefits Fund’.