News

Jul 9, 2013

Milnathort Future Trust reveal plans to tackle growing flooding risk

Milnathort Future Trust (MFT) have warned of an increasing local threat of flooding due to climate change, highlighting their plans to use profit generated from the proposed Milnathort Community Wind Cluster to shore up local residents against the risk.

The three turbine wind cluster heads towards a planning decision at Perth & Kinross Council on July 17th.

According to the Scottish Government, the flood risk affecting some areas of Scotland could double before the end of the century due to climate change (1), exposing growing numbers of residents to costly and in some cases irreparable damage to their property and community. 

Milnathort faced extensive floods in 2006 and 2009, and despite the building of a new flood wall in the town in 2010, there are local concerns that an increasing frequency and scale of flooding events could leave individual properties exposed in the future. 

A recent memorandum of understanding between the UK Government and the Association of British Insurers has been established with the aim of providing a fund to cap residents' premiums in high flood risk areas (2), but MFT want to bolster efforts to protect local residents before the damage occurs.

The Scottish National Party's Ms Roseanna Cunningham MSP, Member of the Scottish Parliament for Perthshire South & Kinross-shire, said:

"Communities like Milnathort know all too well the realities of climate change, having suffered a number of flooding incidents in recent years."

"So, while I acknowledge that some wind farm developments can be controversial, this is a renewable technology that is environmentally sound and makes a significant contribution to reducing our CO2 emissions and I would certainly far rather have a wind turbine or two in my back yard than a mine shaft or a nuclear reactor."

"Small scale projects feeding profits back into the local community are an extremely positive development in so many ways and we will reap the benefits for many years to come."

David Sands, a Director of MFT said:  

"We all know local people whose lives were decimated by the floods and there is a growing risk from climate change every year now. We need to equip residents for every eventuality if we are to protect the future of the town. 

"The Scottish Government's Flooding Act should really help with the co-ordination and prioritisation of major alleviation projects, we believe there is a complementary role for communities to bring their own initiatives to the table to protect households against the growing threat. 

"Using our profits from the wind turbines to bulk buy individual flood prevention equipment for example is a 'belt and braces' approach to protecting residents, while the turbines themselves will make a small but significant contribution to tackling the problem of climate change itself."

MFT would receive a guaranteed minimum income of £24,000 annually from the turbines. There is also the option of the trust taking a one third ownership in the project should it be approved, delivering substantially more income to the community.

While there have been two previous proposals for wind projects on the Tillyrie site, this new proposal addresses previous concerns by reducing the number of turbines from five to three. 

Environmental watchdog SNH have raised no objection to the current proposal.

Last month the landowners who own Tillyrie Hill agreed to a major extension to the core path in the Milnathort area should the project get the go-ahead, taking a new path to the viewpoint at the top of Tillyrie Hill.

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