A PROPOSED new wind farm meets the needs of North Ayrshire Council's declared climate emergency say the firm behind the development.

Rigghill Wind Farm Ltd have applied for a permission to proceed with a controversial development of ten 150 metre high turbines between Largs and Skelmorlie.

They believe the council's climate emergency outweigh the cultural concerns - despite one agency saying it will affect the integrity of an historic Roman fort in the area.

In a virtual public consultation held over Zoom, Rigghill Wind Farm spokesmen played down concerns raised by Historic Environment Scotland.

Skelmorlie Community Council are also opposing the development.

Rigghill says it is are carrying out 'appropriate mitigation measures' to protect the fort and plan to proceed with their application.

Fraser Campbell, Operational Director of construction firm Burcote Wind, pictured, said: "There will be an opportunity to appeal the matter to Scottish ministers should the council reject the application.

"In terms of Historic Environment Scotland's stance, it is certainly not unusual for the proposers of a development to disagree in terms of the opinions of consultees in relation to various environmental issues.

"We have employed an independent archaeology unit to assess the impacts on cultural heritage and their view may be very different from Historic Environment Scotland.

"We have a difference of opinion."

A spokeswoman for the Rigghill wind farm development added: "There are always going to be some adverse effects to any planning application and to some degree it is down to the council or if it goes to appeal to Scottish Ministers about the benefits of what is proposed in terms of energy generation and support to renewables and meeting the targets which have been set in terms of renewables, with North Ayrshire Council themselves having raised a climate emergency."

Asked about the changes of use in terms of re-configuring Routenburn Road for the transportation of wind farm materials, Mr Campbell says the firm would shorten the public use of the road during the construction phase and were still in talks with landowners as to the exact nature of what the necessary changes will be.

In the virtual consultation, Rigghill stated that they have a local procurement policy in place for the new development.

A spokeswoman said: "We believe that it is important to ensure as much benefit as possible is kept within the local area. We will provide a preferential bespoke local procurement policy across all of Ayrshire which will offer local contractors at a five per cent price advantage when tendering for contracts related to the wind farm.

"The construction phase of the wind ward will offer a number of jobs over 12–18 months. Moving towards the operational stage of the project, we normally have between five and 10 retained contractors involved with the operations and maintenance of the development."

North Ayrshire Council is looking to reduce its carbon footprint by 40 per cent by 2030.