Community benefit still on table?

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MEARNS Community Council are to enquire if the offer of a community benefit fund previously made by the developer of a proposed windfarm at The Shiells, Laurencekirk, is still on the table.

Former chairman David Nelson told the August meeting of the council that the developer, Lloyd Garvie, had previously indicated that he wanted Mearns Community Council to administer the community benefit fund.

The turbines at The Shiells have now been approved, so the council is to contact Mr Garvie.

Councillor George Carr sounded a cautionary note however saying: “Some communities have got themselves into trouble administering community benefit funds.

“There has to be transparency, you need to be careful and build in safeguards.”

Councillor Carr then praised the Mearns Area Partnership for the way it administers the Tullo Windfarm community benefit fund saying: “Everyone is happy with the way Tullo is working.”

The council was told that work was to begin on the Mid Hill windfarm on September 3.

The turbines will be erected in August 2013 and commissioned by April 2014.

Members were told that a planning application for Mid Hill phase 2, nine additional turbines, is currently in the planning process.