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Gales Expected as Wind Farm Application is Resubmitted

Planning permission is being sought for a second time to build nine wind turbines on land at Mount Lothian near Howgate, Penicuik.

Wind Prospect Developments ltd, in partnership with EDF Energy, have resubmitted plans to Midlothian Council for nine 102 metre tall wind turbines on land at Mount Lothian off the B6372.

The resubmission follows a withdrawal of a previous planning application in May 2013, with the developer citing the need for extra time to conduct ecological studies as the reason.

Wind Prospects say that each turbine could have the capacity to generate 2.3MW of power and collectively 20.7MW could be produced to power approximately 11,092 households across Scotland.

Despite hundreds of objections from the public and several statutory bodies, as part of a consultation last Spring, the developer still wants to stress that the wind farm will contribute millions of pounds to the local economy throughout its 28 year lifespan. During construction they pledge to donate £2 million to the surrounding community and every year thereafter £300k of funds will be made available. Accompanying this would be 14 jobs during construction along with a further three jobs maintaining the site once operational.

However the Penicuik Environment Protection Association disagree that the benefits will outweigh the negative impact on the environment. Professor Tony Trewavas FRS, chairman of the opposition group, told us last year:

Wind Energy companies have no concern for those they damage by their proposals, driven as they are by grossly excessive profits to be gained by despoiling treasured and precious landscapes, damaging tourist employment and wild life alike and sharing the proceeds with local landowners who do nothing for it. This proposal threatened to demean the quality of life for all Midlothian residents.

If planning permission is granted, the wind farm will be in operation for 25 years with eleven months extra set aside for construction, along with some time also allowed for decommissioning, meaning the cycle of construction to decommissioning will take 28 years.

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