Despite UK Government moves to put a brake on the building of more windfarms, the go-ahead has been given to expand a major one planned for the area.
Council planning permission has already been given for the creation of a 26-turbine ‘farm’ at Kype Muir, in the countryside between Lesmahagow and Strathaven.
This week the building of a further 15 turbines there was given the nod by the council, meaning that, should final Scottish Government approval be given, a total of 41 more of the giant structures will soon be added to the many already dotted on the Clyesdale skyline.
The developers, Hamilton-based Banks Renewables, are claiming that the expanded windfarm will mean a £23m boost to the local economy over the 25-year-long lifespan of the windfarm.
The company announced that South Lanarkshire Council had granted a `quickie’ planning permission to the extra turbines after no members of the public objected to the expansion.
Windpower developers throughout the country are now working against the clock before major UK Government cuts in subsidies come into effect next year, a move much-criticised by the Scottish Government.
The expansion of the Kype Windfarm before it was even built was hailed by the developers as a “landmark investment” in the area.
Banks Renewables developement manager Colin Anderson said: “The industry has undoubtedly been at the sharp end of some tough cutbacks and countless high-profile projects have been scrapped as a result.
“We are therefore delighted to be putting forward this exciting opportunity to expand on the Kype Muir project.
“The development is extremely strong and on its own merit has the potential to drive substantially more investment into a region in real need of it.
“The council is clearly appreciative of the positive impact the project would have on the surrounding area and pleasingly it has not sought to change any elements of the detailed plan, which is now with the Scottish Government for approval.”
He went on to say: “Along with the boost to local businesses, revenue for community initiatives could increase the total estimated local revenue from the combined 41 turbine Kype Muir project to £23 million over the 25 year life cycle of the wind farm.
“We are proud to be working with the council and the communities hosting this project.”