THE proposed Ascog wind farm could generate up to £1.5 million for Bute’s economy, according to the organisation which will gain from the ‘community benefit’ if the project is given planning permission.
In his planning application, developer Adrian Tear says he plans to give £10,000 per megawatt installed, or 20 per cent of the scheme’s net profits, per annum in ‘community benefit’ to Towards Zero Carbon Bute, the organisation set up to monitor and reduce the island’s carbon footprint.
A draft community investment plan, to be considered soon by TZCB’s parent organisation Fyne Futures, a subsidiary of local housing association Fyne Homes, proposes spending that money on reducing fuel poverty through insulation programmes and micro renewable energy projects, increasing local food and drink production and improving waste management services such as kerb-side collections, food waste collections and re-use and recycling services.
TZCB project manager Reeni Kennedy-Boyle said: “The potential direct financial benefit to Bute over the lifetime of the project could be in the region of £1.5 million.
“Compared to many other private developments this is exceptionally generous. Of course, there are many variables to be taken into account however Fyne Futures are delighted to be the chosen partner to manage this fund should the development progress beyond planning.”
The application has provoked a storm of public debate on Bute, with 242 comments made by members of the public via the website of the planning authority, Argyll and Bute Council, at the time of writing and two full pages of letters on the subject to be published in The Buteman this Thursday.