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Newlands Hill Wind Energy Hub

Welcome to our website for the Newlands Hill Wind Energy Hub.

Belltown Power is committed to working with local communities and stakeholders to responsibly develop renewable energy projects that help to deliver our Scottish climate change targets and ensure a green and sustainable future for generations to come. For more information about Belltown Power UK please click here and the Belltown Group please click here.

The aim of this website is to provide easy access to the latest key project information as well as setting out how you can get involved and share your views. We look forward to hearing from you.

ClimateStripes

Global temperature change since 1850: Show Your Stripes - Professor Ed Hawkins (University of Reading)

The Climate Crisis

We are facing an unprecedented global climate crisis caused by the use of fossil fuels to power our societies. In the past 50 years weather induced disasters have increased 5-fold [1].

Necessary Actions

CO2 ppm have risen by 28% in the past 50 years [2]. We need to urgently cut greenhouse gas emissions to prevent irreversible temperature rises and nature loss. As electrification of transport and heating continues our demand for electricity will rise. It is vital we meet this increase, and existing demand, from renewable sources.

Project Contribution

Newlands Hill Wind Energy Hub has the potential to make a sizeable contribution to the decarbonisation of our electricity system and reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. Stats: The project could produce enough energy to power over 120,000 homes and emissions savings of over 7.5 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent [3].

This project is an opportunity for your community to contribute to tackling climate change in a significant way through hosting and part-owning a modern wind energy hub.

“We must go into emergency mode against the climate crisis. We need an avalanche of action.”

UN Secretary-General António Guterres

"If we don't act now, it'll be too late. Every day that goes by in which we don't do something about it is a day wasted."

Sir David Attenborough

  1. WMO, Weather-related disasters
  2. Statista, Historic average carbon dioxide (CO2) levels, Ian Tiseo
  3. RenewableUK, Statistics explained and figures based on a wind energy hub comprising of 17 turbines at 6.6MW, see Planning and Sustainable Place Statement and Technical Appendix 15.1
SiteLocationImage

Project Proposal

The site is located approximately 6km southeast of Gifford and 11km southeast of Haddington in East Lothian.

Throughout 2022 and 2023 extensive site survey and assessment have been carried out by relevant specialists to gain a full appreciation of the environment on site and help define the site’s potential. This has been coupled with public consultation events and consultation with statutory bodies. This feedback has helped shape our final proposal, which has now been submitted in our Planning Application to the Scottish Government for consideration.

The final proposal consists of 17 turbines and a battery storage facility, including 15 turbines with 200 metre tip heights, and 2 turbines at 180 metres.  As we move towards a decarbonised network, storing clean energy and discharging it when most needed, allows us to help balance the grid network so it remains stable and runs efficiently.

The site is currently used for sheep grazing and as a managed grouse moor. As part of the application, Belltown are proposing significant habitat creation and enhancement across the site comprising over 45 hectares of new native woodland, riparian planting, and grassland enhancement including wet grassland to benefit breeding wader birds. The wind turbines, together with the associated infrastructure, battery storage facility and habitat enhancement, collectively make up the Newlands Hill Wind Energy Hub.

What’s next...

Belltown Power would like to extend a big thank you to everyone who got in touch online, by post, or came along in person to our public exhibitions to find out more about Newlands Hill Wind Energy Hub. The feedback we received was incredibly helpful when forming our final designs. Now that the planning application has been submitted to the Energy Consents Unit of the Scottish Government, there is an opportunity for members of the public to comment on it before it is determined by Scottish Ministers.

All the documents forming part of the submission will be available to view below and on the Scottish Government's Energy Consents Unit website from 30 Nov 23, reference ECU00004603 where you will be able to submit formal representations up to 24 Jan 2024.

More information will be available on this website as this application progresses and if you've not done so already you can register for updates below or get in touch with the team by emailing newlandshill@belltownpower.com 

Environmental Impact Assessment Documents

Other Documents

Timeline

Q2 22 - Q1 23

Preparation of Planning Submission

Nov 22

Second Consultation Events

Q4 23

Planning Submission

Q4 24

Expected Planning Determination

Q4 25

Start Construction Target

H2 27

Target Commercial Operation

children at wind farm and community group

Community – a Groundbreaking Ownership Offering

At Belltown Power we fundamentally believe that renewable energy projects should benefit the communities that host them. Communities local to the Newlands Hill Wind Energy Hub will benefit through our groundbreaking community ownership scheme.

We want to go beyond simply offering the opportunity for local investment into our projects and actually take demonstrable steps to enable the uptake of community ownership in a way that benefits everyone.

Belltown’s Community Ownership scheme includes:

  • Giving local community organisations 1% of the equity in the project for free.
  • Enabling them to buy a further 4% of the equity at cost once the project is operational and potentially more at market value, if desired.

This is an industry leading example of providing communities with the ability to secure the financial means to own a material part of the project.  The returns generated from the community owning part of Newlands Hill Wind Energy Hub could support local ambitions.  Discussions with the Association of East Lothian Community Councils are underway. Belltown is committed to this shared ownership offering benefitting the whole of East Lothian. 

Community Benefit and Electricity Discount Scheme

In addition to this Community Ownership offering, we are committed to providing £5,000/MW (index linked) Community Benefit for the lifetime of the project. If Newlands Hill were consented in its current proposed format this would represent a community benefit of £561,000 each year for 40 years, a total of £22.4m over the lifetime of the project. Note: the real sum will be greater as the community benefit is index linked to CPI.

Following feedback from the local community, we are proposing to use a significant portion of this Community Benefit for an Electricity Discount Scheme (EDS). This EDS will reduce electricity bills for local residents and businesses, with the following discounts applied Properties within:

  • 3.5km of an operating turbine would be eligible for £800/annum
  • 7.5km of an operating turbine would be eligible for £425/annum
  • 10km of an operating turbine would be eligible for £200/annum
  • All figures are per annum, index linked, and are a contribution to electricity bills for the operational life of Newlands Hill Wind Energy Hub.

The remaining Community Benefit will be shared equally between Gifford Community Council and Garvald and Morham Community Council for use on local projects and initiatives. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Newlands Hill Wind Energy Hub and these Community Councils regarding the use of these Community Benefit funds.

We can be flexible as to when and how the community receives this funding and can offer front loading for projects that have high initial investment needs. These funds will be made available for communities to invest in initiatives most needed by the community. We have already had many great suggestions on how Newlands Hill Wind Energy Hub can best support your community and will continue to engage as we develop these plans further.

Case study

Near to our Tirgwynt site in Powys, Wales the Carno Primary School faced closure due to the condition of temporary buildings they were using. Due to our flexible community benefit offering we were able to substitute some of the annual payments with a larger, upfront payment which enabled the construction of a new school building allowing the local school to continue to serve the community for future generations.

Education - inspiring the next generation

We believe passionately about education and have been running the Belltown Education Programme since 2015 with the aim of inspiring the next generation of engineers, scientists and climate emergency tacklers. We were invited to give a talk to apprentices taking the Renewable Energy Systems: Technology course at Edinburgh College. This was a great session exploring the considerations that go into developing and operating renewable energy sites, with some excellent questions being asked by the students. In 2022/23 we carried out educational sessions with 8 schools local to Newlands Hill, delivering site visits and workshops to nearly 200 young people. We are looking to expand this opportunity to include more schools and young people across East Lothian in 2023/24. 

Environment

Everyone at Belltown Power is involved in the renewable energy industry through a desire to tackle the climate crisis and nature emergency. The current proposal would produce enough clean energy to power over 120,000 homes per annum and displace over 7.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide over the lifetime of the project [3].

In addition to this we will implement a comprehensive and tailored habitat management and enhancement plan to ensure that Newlands Hill Wind Energy Hub delivers a net ecological benefit through careful habitat design, creation, enhancement and management. This includes:

  • Native woodland planting of over 7 hectares. This could encourage adder and black grouse populations.
  • Riparian planting of over 3 hectares. This could deliver benefits for fisheries, providing shade and sources of food.
  • Grassland management of over 30 hectares. This could revert land to a more natural state, improving species richness and quality for biodiversity.
  • Wet grassland management of over 5 hectares to benefit breeding waders.  This could support breeding upland bird species such as curlew and lapwing.

Get involved

At Belltown Power, we recognise a fundamental part of good project development is early consultation to ensure local communities and stakeholders are given the opportunity to provide feedback and are kept informed of a project’s progress.

We carried out two consultation events, comprising physical and virtual exhibitions. The first was in Mar 22 and the second consultation event ran between Nov and Dec 22. The physical exhibitions took place at Gifford, Garvald, and Stenton Village Halls and the John Grey Centre to maximise outreach. Over 250 people attended these physical exhibitions and the virtual exhibitions received over 300 unique visitors. We received over 600 feedback forms across these consultations.

This feedback was used to develop the design of Newlands Hill across our Second Scoping and full EIA Planning Applications. It was very encouraging to see so much engagement with the project and we greatly appreciate the time everyone took to get involved.

exhibition-2

All the documents forming part of the submission will be available to view on this website and on the Scottish Government's Energy Consents Unit website from Thursday 30 Nov 23, reference ECU00004603, where you can also submit formal representations up to 24 January 2024.

Any subsequent additional information which is submitted will be subject to further public notice, and representations to such information will be accepted by the Energy Consents Unit.  As a result of a statutory objection from the relevant planning authority, or where the Scottish Ministers decide to exercise their discretion to do so, Scottish Ministers can also cause a Public Inquiry to be held.  Following examination of the environmental information, the Scottish Ministers will determine the application for consent in two ways:

  • grant consent to the proposed Development, with or without conditions attached; or
  • reject the application.

If you have any questions, please register below or email the team at newlandshill@belltownpower.com.

Opportunities for Local businesses and Suppliers

Opportunities for Local businesses and Suppliers

Belltown Power is committed to providing material benefit to the communities that host them. To ensure this happens we will use local supply chain where they meet the project’s HSEQ requirements and where they are within 10% of the best quote tendered.

There are a wide range of services and suppliers required to build and operate a wind farm including but not limited to:

  • construction, drainage and fencing contractors,

  • materials suppliers and building merchants,

  • plant hire and security,

  • fuel providers and waste management, and

  • local hospitality providers and car hire.

To understand the full range of opportunities available please get in touch via our registration form.

Meet the Buyer

During our consultation events we met many local businesses interested in being involved with the project and we hope to meet more through future “Meet the Buyer” events where you can learn more about the project and our team, and we can learn more about your business and discuss opportunities to work together. We look forward to holding events with the Chamber of Commerce to provide more information about the project as it progresses.

If you would like to know more, we would love to hear from you. All you need to do is fill in our registration form or leave a message at newlandshill@belltownpower.com and one of our team will be in contact to collect further details and answer any questions.

We only collect personal information such as your name, position, company name, address, telephone number and email address when you provide it to us. Your personal data will only be shared within the Newlands Hill planning team, and will be used for specific purposes in relation to the ongoing development of the proposal following planning submission. Your identifiable, personal data will not be used for any other purposes without your consent. Information on the Belltown Power’s Data Privacy Policy can be found at: www.belltownpower.com/uk/belltown-power-privacy-policy

News

It’s with great pleasure that we can confirm submission of our planning application to the Scottish Government’s Energy Consents Unit for Newlands Hill Wind Energy Hub.

Firstly, we want to extend a thank you to everyone who helped shape our proposals through their providing their feedback and coming to our public exhibitions. Your contributions have been invaluable.

All the documents forming part of the submission will be available to view on this website and on the Scottish Government's Energy Consents Unit website from Thursday 30 Nov 23, reference ECU00004603, where you can also submit formal representations up to 24 January 2024.

Any subsequent additional information which is submitted will be subject to further public notice, and representations to such information will be accepted by the Energy Consents Unit.  As a result of a statutory objection from the relevant planning authority, or where the Scottish Ministers decide to exercise their discretion to do so, Scottish Ministers can also cause a Public Inquiry to be held.  Following examination of the environmental information, the Scottish Ministers will determine the application for consent in two ways:

  • grant consent to the proposed Development, with or without conditions attached; or
  • reject the application.

Belltown Power was a sponsor of the recent Haddstock music festival in Haddington on 27 and 28 May 2023.  This fantastic event brought live music and events for a weekend in Haddington and included local musicians and performance groups.  Newlands Hill Wind Energy Hub had information on the Haddstock Stand during the Haddington Farmers Market on 27 May 2023.   It was a welcome opportunity to meet local residents and it was great to be part of the festival.  The sun was shining throughout the weekend and Haddington was busy with the festival and Farmers Market.  We would like to thank the Haddstock team and well done on a successful festival.

HendoFilm have produced an official Haddstock video. Music From Scotland have also posted a great video showcasing some of the music. A slideshow of the day is also available here.

We are also delighted to sponsor the Haddington Show on July 1st.  If you would like to speak to a member of the team please contact us at newlandshill@belltownpower.com

Haddstock_2

Gifford Community Council and Garvald and Morham Community Council have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Newlands Hill Wind Energy Hub regarding the use of the Community Benefit funds. The project is committed to £5,000 per MW per annum, or £560,000 per annum, based on current proposed wind farm capacity. Roughly 80% of this will go towards an Electricity Discount Scheme to benefit residents and businesses within 10km of a wind turbine. Those living within 3.5km would receive £800 per year, those within 7.5km would receive £425, and the rest would receive £200. These figures are all index-linked so will rise with inflation. The remaining Community Benefit will be shared equally between Gifford Community Council and Garvald and Morham Community Councils.

The MoU is not an endorsement of Newlands Hill Wind Energy Hub, but it creates a framework under which the community will benefit as much as possible if the project is to receive consent. This is an important milestone as part of Belltown Power’s commitment to ensuring that communities see real benefits from hosting renewable energy projects.

We would like to thank all residents, local businesses and community groups that continued to engage with our revised proposal for Newlands Hill Wind Energy Hub. At Belltown we recognise that community consultation is fundamental to good project development as it allows us to better understanding the views, concerns and support for the project so we can continue to develop our proposal in the best way possible. We received some incredibly useful feedback that we are now incorporating into our final designs for the Wind Energy Hub as we prepare our planning application.

Although the consultation period has closed we will keep you updated through this website as the project progresses towards planning submission.

Thank you again for taking the time to take part in the consultation.  Please do not hesitate to get in touch with any follow up questions or comments by emailing newlandshill@belltownpower.com.  

Note: the official feedback period for our second round of consultations has now ended. Please do get in touch if you have any further questions or would like to register for project updates.

Our second consultation event for the Newlands Hill Wind Energy Hub has now begun. This is an opportunity to see the changes made, ask questions, and share your views on the project with the Belltown team.

There is a mixture of physical and virtual exhibitions running throughout November.

We are holding the following in-person exhibitions for the community to meet the project team and find out more about our revised proposal:

• Gifford Village Hall,                                Wednesday, 9 Nov,         2-8pm

• Garvald Village Hall,                              Thursday, 10 Nov,           11am-3pm

• Stenton Village Hall,                              Thursday, 10 Nov,            4-8pm

• John Gray Centre, Haddington,              Friday, 11 Nov,                10am-2pm

If you are unable to attend these events, or want to access the all of the information displayed at the events, the virtual exhibition is now live and available until the end of November.

You can feedback on the project in person at the physical exhibitions. We hope to get as much feedback as possible throughout this period and are keen to hear your views on how the project has evolved.

This second consultation event will run from 2 to 30 Nov and will include:

Physical Exhibitions                                    

Gifford Village Hall, Wednesday, 9 Nov, 2-8pm

Garvald Village Hall, Thursday, 10 Nov, 11am-3pm

Stenton Village Hall, Thursday, 10 Nov, 4-8pm

• John Gray Centre, Haddington, Friday, 11 Nov, 10am-2pm

Please come and meet the team to find out more about the revised proposals, ask questions and share your views.

Virtual Exhibition – If you are unable to attend an event in person, a virtual exhibition will be made available with the materials you would see in our Physical Exhibitions. You can access the virtual exhibition from 02 Nov via our project website and we ask that you share your views or register for updates via the website and feedback form.

This event has been advertised via the East Lothian Courier and an invitation will shortly be sent to all residents within 15km of the site.  We look forward to engaging with any questions and feedback you may have on the project.

Belltown Power's Newlands Hill Wind Energy Hub exhibition 14 September to 12 October (inc in-person exhibitions planned for 21 - 23 September) have been postponed as a mark of respect following the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth.  We will advertise new exhibition dates in the coming weeks. 

Following revisions to the proposed Newlands Hill Wind Energy Hub, Belltown Power has today resubmitted a scoping request to the Scottish Government’s Energy Consents Unit (ECU) for an energy hub to be located on land in the Lammermuirs, 6kms southeast of Gifford in East Lothian. The proposals now includes up to 17 turbines with tip heights from 180m to 200m and an associated energy storage facility.

Because of the revisions made to the proposals it was necessary for us to resubmit a scoping request. The scoping request seeks confirmation from statutory consultees on Belltown Power’s approach to producing an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the project which will support the planning submission which we aim to submit in spring 2023.

Today Belltown Power commenced work to erect the consented 90m met mast for the Newlands Hill project.  In line with Belltown’s policy on using local businesses the excavation of the anchor points was being carried out by a local contractor.  Due to the historic use of the site during World War II, and in accordance with best practices, there was an Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) specialist on site to survey all intrusive works.

On commencing work, the team discovered a small mortar round. An exclusion zone was immediately put in place and the find was reported to Police Scotland who are managing the process of disposal with the appropriate authorities. Works will get back underway once the authorities have confirmed it is safe to do so.  We will look to keep people informed on this issue as things develop on site.

The 90m mast will be installed to gather further wind data for the project, supporting our existing LiDAR which is on site. The mast is consented for up to 5 years and will be installed later this summer.

 

We would like to thank all residents, local businesses and community groups that took the time to find out more about our proposals and provide comments and feedback.  At Belltown we recognise that community consultation is fundamental to good project development as it allows us to better understanding the views, concerns and support for the project so we can continue to develop our proposal in the best way possible. 

Although the virtual exhibition closed on 28 March 2022, the exhibition material will remain on our project website and we will continue to accept feedback on the current plans until 28 April 2022. 

We will hold a second exhibition event later this year where we will bring forward revised plans based on the feedback and continued development of the Newlands Hill Wind Energy Hub.  We now expect the second exhibition to be held in September/October in order to avoid the school summer holidays.  We will advertise this event again via this website as well as posting adverts in the East Lothian Courier and sending out individual invitations to local residents – we hope to see you there!  

Thank you again for taking the time to take part in the consultation.  Please do not hesitate to get in touch with any follow up questions or comments by emailing newlandshill@belltownpower.com.  

Exhibitions to be held next week with a virtual exhibition available for those who can’t attend in person.

Belltown Power UK CEO Paul Hewett said: “We are excited to launch the Newlands Hill Wind Energy Hub consultation events and believe this project has the potential to make a significant contribution towards meeting Scotland’s Net Zero carbon targets. If consented the project would offer local communities a Community Benefit Fund of £5,000 per annum per MW of installed capacity as well as our ground-breaking Community Ownership model that gives 1% of the project to the local community for free and enables communities to invest further at a discounted rate once the project is de-risked and operational.”

Paul continued “Belltown Power is a small UK based team who are driven by a desire to help tackle the global climate emergency. However, communities, local environments and education are also at the heart of everything we do. Our team are looking forward to meeting people locally and introducing the project and the benefits it can bring to the area.”
 

This consultation will run from 8th March to 28th March and will include:

Physical Exhibitions – These are taking place on:
•    Tuesday 15th March 2022 at Garvald Village Hall – 1pm to 8pm
•    Wednesday 16th March 2022 at Gifford Village Hall – 1pm to 8pm

Please come and meet the team where you can find out more about the proposals, ask questions and share your views.

Virtual Exhibition – If you are unable to attend an event in person please visit our virtual exhibition which includes the materials you would see in our Physical Exhibitions. We ask that you share your views or register for updates via our website and feedback form.  

This event has been advertised via the East Lothian Courier and an invitation has been sent to all residents within 15km of the site.  We look forward to engaging with any questions and feedback you may have on the project.
 

A planning application has been submitted for the installation of a temporary meteorological mast which will be used to measure and validate the wind resource at the Newlands Hill site.

Belltown Power has today submitted a scoping request to the Scottish Government’s Energy Consents Unit (ECU) for an energy hub to be located on land in the Lammermuirs, southeast of Gifford in East Lothian. The proposals include up to 23 turbines with tip heights from 180m to 230m and an associated energy storage facility. 

The scoping request seeks confirmation from statutory consultees on Belltown Power’s approach to producing an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the project which will support the planning submission which is anticipated in summer 2022.