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Whitelee Windfarm

Information Leaflet
Illustrations and Layout by Turnbull Jeffrey Partnership Ltd. : Visitor’s Centre Image by Building Design Partnership : Photomontage by Envision Ltd.
Proposed Whitelee Windfarm development The Environmental Statement
ScottishPower has now submitted an application to build and A comprehensive Environmental Statement accompanies the
operate a windfarm at Whitelee Forest, south of Glasgow.This leaflet application. It reports the findings of the thorough environmental
provides information on some key points identified during the assessment process that has evaluated all potential environmental
environmental assessment process and which are reported fully in effects of windfarm development at this site. It includes details of
the Environmental Statement. Details on where to view the design features and practical measures to minimise any adverse
Environmental Statement and how to obtain copies of the Non effects or disturbance, and addresses issues raised during
Technical Summary or further information are provided at the end consultation. It also confirms the substantial environmental benefits
of this leaflet. that the project will bring.

Over the past 6 months we have consulted with over 75 The Environmental Statement addresses the following topics:
organisations and groups, including 25 local community councils,
and spoken with some 300 local people at a series of exhibitions. · landscape and visual amenity
During this consultation the design of the windfarm has evolved in · ecology
response to comments received, allowing it to be fully optimised · archaeology and cultural heritage
taking into account all environmental, technical and local criteria. · noise
· forestry
ScottishPower is committed to ensuring windfarm development at · local employment
Whitelee Forest is sensitively designed with regard to local · land use and ownership
communities and the environment. We have sought not just to · tourism and amenity
minimise any effects, but also to enhance the local environment · aircraft
through improved wildlife habitats and access for public recreation. · telecommunications and television
· transport and traffic
· air and climate
· hydrology, soils and geology
Renewable energy and wind power Whitelee Forest site selection and design
Renewable energy sources are natural energy sources such as Whitelee Forest was selected following an exhaustive process to
sunlight, wind, waves and tides, which are continuously replenished identify promising large and small windfarm sites in Scotland. It
and will never run out. Of these renewables, windpower is the emerged as a site with excellent potential for a large windfarm.
most economical and technically advanced. It offers global benefits The 140 turbines proposed would generate enough electricity to
in terms of electricity generation that is free from emissions of supply 150,000 homes - about one third of Scotland’s renewables
carbon dioxide (the main ‘greenhouse’ gas associated with global target alone. This would cut annual emissions of carbon dioxide by
climate change) and other pollutants. It also provides diversity and around 540,000 tonnes.
therefore security in UK energy supplies by reducing dependency
on imported fossil fuels such as coal. The site is large and open, and ideally located close to the Central
Belt in an area with good grid connections and markets for
Scotland now generates around 11 per cent of its electricity from electricity. Development Plans for the area identify it as being
renewable sources, and the Scottish Executive has set a target of suitable for windfarm development, and with no especially sensitive
increasing this to 18 per cent by the year 2010. This will require ecology or landscape features.
approximately 500 new wind turbines in Scotland balanced
between a few large and a number of smaller windfarms. This Although a large windfarm, the turbines and infrastructure only
target, and windfarm development on this scale, are essential take up around 2 per cent of the overall development area - and
elements in the government’s strategy for tackling global climate once operational the land can continue to be used right up to the
change and meeting its international obligations to reduce carbon turbine bases.
dioxide emissions.
Site Location and Access Points
Construction During the two-year construction phase around 300 jobs will be
Construction will begin immediately following consent for the created and some £12 million in construction contracts will be
windfarm and be phased over two years, with phase one operational available.
and generating electricity by the end of the first year. The length of
Traffic management
the construction period, even for such a large windfarm, is much
less than for conventional power station construction projects.
The main impacts occurring during construction result from short-
Activities are not continuous and are largely restricted to the site
term, temporary, increased traffic movements. These can be
itself. Decommissioning and removal of the turbines at the end of
addressed effectively by a traffic management plan. The plan for
their useful life, about 25 years, is similarly straightforward and the
the proposed Whitelee Windfarm development will include
land can be fully re-instated to its previous condition.

Photomontage of proposed Wind Turbines


restricting access for construction traffic to the western end of the Landscape and visual
site near Lochgoin via the A77/M77 road, thus completely avoiding Visibility is perhaps the most obvious effect of an operating
Eaglesham village. In addition, HGV traffic on the main road network windfarm. In response to consultation, the turbine layout has been
will be significantly reduced by sourcing stone for road construction repeatedly revised and tested against computer generated images
from sensitively located on-site borrow pits. to minimise visibility from local viewpoints and residences. The
proposed layout represents the optimum in terms of visibility, energy
A second access to the site will be provided at the eastern Ardochrig
recovery and technical and environmental constraints.
end to allow delivery of materials for the substation and the eastern-
most turbines only. Again, this access route will completely avoid
Eaglesham village.
Wildlife and ecology Recreational improvements
Experience from existing windfarms has shown that wildlife can We have taken into account the views of local people and
co-exist very well with wind turbines, and that windfarms provide incorporated plans for improved access via a new network of
an opportunity to improve local habitats and ecology. At Whitelee footpaths, cycleways and bridleways. These are being designed to
Forest we are working closely with landowners, including West of maximise recreational opportunities while simultaneously
Scotland Water and Forest Enterprise, to restore eight square respecting the privacy of nearby residents. The plans also include a
kilometers of forestry to moorland, to restructure the remaining visitor centre providing information and displays on renewable
forest, and to provide more diverse and attractive habitats for local energy and sustainable development.
wildlife.

Artist’s impression of Visitor Centre


Recreation/Access Network
Windfarm operation and communities Public opinion
ScottishPower has eleven windfarms operating successfully in Public attitudes to windfarms consistently show the majority of
diverse areas throughout the UK and Ireland. Windfarm people favour wind energy. Recent Scottish Executive research
development is a long-term commitment and we play an integral found that most residents living close to windfarms do not
part in the communities in which we operate. The company has experience any problems, and that problems anticipated before
set up community or sponsorship funds at all of these windfarm construction did not materialise.
sites.These benefit local communities by supporting projects of an
environmental, educational or charitable nature. A similar fund will Responses to a survey carried out this summer during the public
be established for communities here. exhibitions around the proposed Whitelee Windfarm mirror these
findings. Around 65 per cent of visitors who filled in a questionnaire
were in favour of this site for a windfarm. Only 11 per cent were
against, and the remainder were undecided.

Some 150 people have accepted our invitation to visit an operational


windfarm and to see and hear it for themselves. It is hoped this will
allay any apprehensions people may have. Visits will be organised
within the next few weeks. Please contact us if you missed the
exhibitions and would like to take part in these visits.
Planning application and next steps Avenue
The planning application and Environmental Statement have been · Newmilns, Newmilns Library, Craigview Road
submitted to the Scottish Executive by CRE Energy (a wholly owned · Newton Mearns, Mearns Community Library,
subsidiary of ScottishPower responsible for windfarm development). McKinley Place
The application will now be considered by the Executive and local · Eaglesham, Eaglesham Community Library,
authorities, together with representations from local people and Montgomery Hall
other consultees before a decision is made. · Darvel, Darvel Post Office, 15 East Main Street
· East Kilbride, East Kilbride Central Library,
Local opinion is important and you are invited to submit your Olympia Shopping Mall
comments in writing to the Scottish Executive. You should also · Strathaven, Strathaven Library, Glasgow Road
copy any correspondence to your local authority. To assist you,
contact details are provided on the back page of this leaflet. If you have any further questions about the
proposals, or wish a copy of the Non Technical
ScottishPower will be holding further exhibitions in the local area Summary, please contact:
and details will be made available once these are confirmed. In the
meantime, the full Environmental Statement and a Non Technical Debbie Harper
Summary are available for you to view at council offices and ScottishPower
locations as follows: Strategic Transactions
Cathcart Business Park
· East Renfrewshire Council, Eastwood Park, Spean Street
Rouken Glen Road, Giffnock Glasgow, G44 4BE
· South Lanarkshire Council, Civic Centre, East Tel 0141 568 4418/4419
Kilbride Fax 0141 568 4499
· East Ayrshire Council, 6 Croft Street, email debbie.harper@scottishpower.com
Kilmarnock
· Kilmarnock, Dick Institute Library, Elmbank
Proposed Whitelee Windfarm development
Contact details for responses to planning application

Please address any correspondence on the proposals to the Scottish South Lanarkshire Council
Executive and copy it to your local planning authority at the Enterprise Resources
addresses below. ScottishPower also welcomes the opportunity to Civic Centre
respond to any issues you may have and our address for East Kilbride
correspondence is repeated below for your information. G74 1AB

East Ayrshire Council


Scottish Executive
Department of Development Services
Energy Branch 1
6 Croft Street
Meridian Court
Kilmarnock
5 Cadogan Street
KA1 1JB
Glasgow
G2 6AT
ScottishPower
Strategic Transactions
East Renfrewshire Council
Cathcart Business Park
Planning and Development Services
Spean Street
Eastwood Park
Glasgow
Rouken Glen Road
G44 4BE
Giffnock
East Renfrewshire
G46 6UG