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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 April, 2004, 09:21 GMT 10:21 UK
Urban wind farm plan for Glasgow
Wind turbine
Three turbines would be erected on the hills above Castlemilk
A Glasgow housing scheme could become the site of the UK's first community-owned urban wind farm.

There are plans to put up three turbines near Castlemilk to generate and sell electricity and raise 250,000 a year for local community projects.

Planning permission has been granted to erect a 40-metre anemometer to measure wind speed on Cathkin Braes hills above the area over the next 12 months.

It is hoped the energy produced will feed into the national grid.

Community project

If successful, all the profits from the scheme would be ploughed into a community trust and used for local regeneration.

The local Castlemilk Economic Development Agency (Ceda) is in charge of the plan, using Scottish Executive funding to undertake a feasibility study into the proposals.

The Castlemilk and Carmunnock Wind Farm steering group is due to hold a series of public meetings to consult on the plans with local people.

Something that started out as paper exercise now, three years down the line, could be the first of its kind in Britain
Dr Caroline Gallagher
Glasgow Caledonian University
Ceda project manager for the wind farm Margo Smith said: "The proposal is to build a small-scale community owned and managed wind farm where the profits generated go back into the community.

"The normal procedure would be private developers coming in and a very small percentage of the profits then go back to the community.

"If you like, the people here are trying to turn this on its head."

Paper exercise

The idea is the brainchild of lecturers at Glasgow Caledonian University, who initially planned the project as a paper exercise for students in its School of the Built and Natural Environment.

The school's Dr Caroline Gallagher said: "We were wanting to try and take something which was theory and make it a wee bit practical.

"The students investigated the feasibility of using something which would use renewable energies, help regenerate the area and help the goals of sustainable development.

"So something that started out as paper exercise now, three years down the line, could be the first of its kind in Britain."

The idea has the backing of the local Carmunnock Community Council, whose chairman Ken McCready said: "People have been aware of this happening for at least a year.

"Undoubtedly there will be some people who will object and undoubtedly there will be a visual affect but I think the benefits outweigh the objections."

Watchdog warning

Despite the optimism, the wind farm watchdog Views of Scotland sounded a note of caution.

Spokeswoman Gillian Bishop said: "The financial attraction of something like this to a local community is very obvious.

"Wind power is very profitable, the trouble is somebody has to pay for it but it doesn't come from the Treasury, it comes from the people paying their electricity bills.

"What we would urge people to do is to look at the other side of things and, if possible, speak to people who already live near a wind site."

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