PLANS for a hydropower scheme to be installed on the Kilpatrick Hills have been approved by councillors.

Scotia Hydro Ltd’s proposal includes the installation of a hydroelectric scheme which would take water from a single point at Loch Humphrey, and it would travel down the slopes of the Kilpatrick Hills through an existing buried pipeline, to a turbine located with a new powerhouse building at Gavinburn Farm.

Despite a number of community councils including Old Kilpatrick being supportive of the development, West Dunbartonshire Council have received ten objections.

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Eight of these are from users of the Kilpatrick Hills and two of them came from local residents.

One resident, Karen Fyfe, raised her concerns at the planning committee meeting on Wednesday, March 20.

She said: “My house is the nearest property, 55 metres away. It is not a big distance in reality. I’m concerned about the noise nuisance from construction traffic or the turbine itself that could be running 24 hours, seven days a week.

“I realise there are not many objections, but I still think I should be heard.”

Ms Fyfe told council officials that she was also concerned about flooding to her property that she has lived in for the past 23 years.

However, in a report to councillors, it states: “No development shall take place until a noise impact assessment has been carried out.”

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Objections from those that use the hills think they are environmentally important and should not be built on.

The agent acting on behalf of Scotia Hyrdo Ltd’s application also spoke at the meeting.

He said: “On completion, this project will provide significant benefits on both local and national level. This is an excellent example of a truly sustainable development.”

The company have proposed a payment of £5,000 per year to be paid to Dumbarton and District Pipe Band to teach primary school children in West Dunbartonshire bagpipe and drumming skills.

They are also keen to visit local schools to educate pupils on renewable energy and the Gavinburn scheme.

Councillor Karen Conaghan said at the meeting: “This is something that has impressed me. The community benefits are excellent. There are benefits here for our primary school children.”