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July 27, 2011

Planners get onside with communities

The island of Hoy in Orkney is the latest community to emerge successfully from the long, difficult and sometimes bumpy journey that must be travelled if the aim is to build a community owned wind farm.  Community Energy Scotland is working with over 150 communities on revenue generating projects and has identified a trend in the planning system which suggests that community projects are more than twice as likely to succeed than commercial schemes

Planners are giving a vote of confidence to community windfarm projects, while leaving many more commercial schemes becalmed, according to campaigners. Community Energy Scotland said the news was a vote of confidence in small scale projects which use green energy to generate an income for local communities. 

The charity said community based renewable projects had a 100% success rate in getting planning approval from local authorities – while commercial windfarms are  knocked back by planning chiefs.

Speaking as the island of Hoy in Orkney celebrated the installation of its own community wind turbine, CES chief executive Nicholas Gubbins commented : ”These projects are bringing real, direct benefits at local level through improved and affordable heating for community buildings as well as opportunities to generate long term revenue”

Community Energy Scotland is currently providing detailed technical advice and financial support to over 150 community groups taking forward revenue –generating projects across Scotland. So far 30 have been brought forward, with each receiving planning approval.