Community turbine plan call for support

A WIND turbine earmarked for Cocklaw Hill just south of Dunbar is expected to raise £4 million in profit over the next 20 years to develop local projects.

The Dunbar Community Energy Company (DCEco), a trading subsidiary of the charity Sustaining Dunbar, has lodged a planning application for the community-owned wind turbine.

Following a community consultation in January, the company has opted for a smaller wind turbine than initially planned and found a way to finance it. The wider community is to be included in decisions about how to spend the income from the turbine.

Iain Waugh, from DCEco, said: “Community energy is very different from commercial wind projects. All income stays within the community and we need to consult the public about how it might be spent so they can decide if they want to support specific ideas or bring forward alternatives.

“We have developed an inclusive procedure for deciding how to spend income, which is a key part of our planning application.

“We believe this is fair, open and transparent and ensures that the revenue from the community turbine is spent fairly over the next 20 years for the maximum benefit of our community. This is an exciting opportunity to invest in sustaining and creating local jobs and we hope the public actively support this application.”

A ‘Project Evaluation Group,’ drawn from interested members of the community and the four community councils in the area, will be formed.

This group will be asked to assess all funding applications.

Grants will be available for local projects and social enterprises that complement Sustaining Dunbar’s Local Resilience Action Plan and which help create and sustain local jobs.

Details of the Cocklaw community wind turbine project will be on display at the Bleachingfield Community Centre in Dunbar from 9am to 9.30pm this week. The planning application is open for comments now on the East Lothian Council website.