PLANNING permission is being sought for what developers describe as a “trailblazing” onshore windfarm in central Scotland.

South Lanarkshire is being asked to approve the 37-turbine Bodinglee Wind Farm, which could power 200,000 households as well as providing millions in benefits to the local community.

The site would be either side of the M74, south of the A70 at Douglas in the east and Uddington in the west.

Banks Renewables, the firm behind the bid, said approval would also see the creation of a community-owned organisation – Clydesdale Community Energy Transition Company (CCETco) – which would help thousands of families to save millions on their energy bills.

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The firm said that around 6500 local households would be helped to improve insulation in their homes and replace fossil fuel-reliant heating systems by the new organisation.

Banks Renewables commissioned a study by consultancy firm Natural Power which found that funding such measures would see a combined energy bill saving of £2-4.4 million for locals.

The company said it has offered to gift a 1% stake in the wind farm to the community with a further 9% available to buy at the market rate.

Over the 40-year lifespan of the proposed wind farm, Banks Renewables said it had “forecast a blended community benefits package of an estimated £53m”.

Robin Winstanley (below), the firm’s sustainability and external affairs manager, said: “We believe we have presented a very strong case for approving this scheme, which would deliver significant environmental, social and economic benefits to local communities in South Lanarkshire that would help tackle climate change and drive down energy bills for local households.

The National:

“The blended benefits package which would result from Bodinglee Wind Farm is innovative in its approach, looking beyond the traditional model of issuing grants from a central pot, seeking to reshape how a just energy transition could directly benefit local households and the wider community.”

He went on: “Our vision for the site is not just to create a wind farm, but for Bodinglee to deliver sustainable, positive and transformative change for South Lanarkshire.

“Since we commenced development of the project in 2021 we have been meeting with and listening to local communities, businesses, and a wide variety of people locally, and we hope we have exceeded their expectation of what Bodinglee Wind Farm can contribute to South Lanarkshire and we hope that people locally will support our application to build what would be a nationally significant green energy development on the UK and Scotland’s journey to net zero.”