Saturday, January 18, 2014

Cawdor and West Nairnshire CC contemplate wind farm windfall

On Monday night at the Cawdor Community Centre the villages and surrounding area’s Community Council met. The meeting was well attended, mainly due to a contentious planning issue (details here on the Highland Council e-planning site) and the subjects discussed included dangers from elm trees (long dead from Dutch elm disease) that were overhanging roads in the Cantraybridge area and close to the Galcantry crossroads. The gathering was told how plans for an emergency team of volunteers to look for anyone who might get lost in the Big Wood were advancing. The Higland wide Local Development plan was discussed, the Chair Kevin Bolton outlined how the Council were working with the other Nairnshire CCs but their priority was the Cawdor area. The chair outlined how it was CC policy to attract people to the Cawdor area and outlined how people leaving Cawdor had caused the new school to briefly lose a teacher when the school roll dipped. He said:
”We broadly support development but that development has to have proper infrastructure prior to it going in.”
On the Tom na Clach wind farm the Chair said:

”Obviously you are aware that the wind farm at Tom na Clach falls within our remit and there’s various ways we can get funding from that as a collective or doing something different with the energy suppliers. Neil Cameron who normally sits on this council is very well versed both planning in general and also renewables has already taken a lead on that on our behalf with regard to that. So that we get the best deal, for want of a better word, for us as a community council. There are various options already up and running in different parts of the country. Some are successful, some aren’t, some people get on some people don’t and we need to learn from what’s gone before and take the best of what works and don’t take anything from the stuff that doesn’t work. That’s ongoing, I think the earliest that we are likely to see any turbines is round about 2018 and after that there will be some revenue coming in from that to be split up amongst the community councils. Some of the councils that have got big funding have done fantastic stuff, they’ve underwritten university placements for local children – so it is something that is going to provide quite a bit of money but it is some distance away so we just have to make sure that we cross the t’s and dot the i’s with regard to the way that we approach it.”

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