Survey reveals Quixwood windfarm support

Results of an independent survey suggest that support for the Quixwood Moor windfarm is fairly strong.

Independent research into the views of people in the communities surrounding the site of a proposed development at Quixwood Moor has found considerable support for the plans, with 42 per cent in favour of the scheme, compared to 33 per cent who said they were against it.

Banks Renewables is putting forward plans for the proposed windfarm, which would be situated on agricultural land between Grantshouse and Abbey St Bathans

As part of the continuing public engagement process surrounding the proposals, which has included four public exhibitions and several meetings with community representatives, Banks commissioned an independent market research firm to carry out a door-to-door survey of households in the area, to find out more about local residents’ views.

Around 120 households took part in the survey and more than two fifths responded positively to the plans with a quarter holding a neutral or no opinion about them. The main reasons given by participants for backing the Quixwood Moor scheme included general support for renewable energy, the visual appearance of wind turbines, the clean energy they produce and a preference for wind farms over other energy sources.

More than half (53 per cent) of those surveyed supported the Scottish Government’s target for generating all the country’s energy through renewable sources by 2020, with just one-fifth objecting to this policy.

The £43m Quixwood Moor scheme would encompass 14 turbines with a maximum tip height of 126.5m, and would have an installed capacity of up to 32.2MW, which would meet the annual electricity consumption requirements of up to 21,800 homes.

Banks Renewables say that around 55 people would be working on site during the construction of the Quixwood Moor project, and if the scheme goes ahead, local firms would be able to tender for related contracts worth up to £7million.

In addition to this, a substantial amount of funding would be provided by a benefits fund that would run alongside the wind farm during its 25-year lifetime.

This would be made available to local community groups, environmental projects and voluntary organisations in order to facilitate tangible, long-term benefits for all sections of the community from Banks’ presence there.

The survey also asked local people how they thought this money might best be allocated, with ideas including new facilities for children and young people, providing cheaper electricity, improving the local environment and adding amenities for the whole community amongst the most popular suggestions.