Aug 16 2011 by Greg Christison, Perthshire Advertiser Tuesday
COUNCIL chiefs yesterday voiced their “strong concerns” over proposals for three large wind turbines in Newburgh.
In a letter to Fife Council, Perth and Kinross Council’s development quality manager Nick Brian pointed out that PKC have not been formally consulted over the community-run Braeside Of Lindores scheme – despite the potential visual impact on Perthshire residents.
Plans suggest the turbines will be visible from Errol, Moncrieffe Hill and Kinnoull Tower, east of Perth.
The letter reads: “Although Perth and Kinross Council was consulted about the development proposal at the EIA [environmental impact assessment] scoping stage, the council was not to my knowledge formally consulted as an affected neighbouring authority follow the submission of the planning application.
“Notwithstanding the above, Perth and Kinross Council wishes to raise strong concerns about this proposal because of the nature of the development and location of the site.
”It is understood that the site lies within an AGLV [Area of Great Landscape Value] and the Fife candidate Special Landscape Area.
“The turbines will be visible from and lie within 10km of an AGLV and at least five historic gardens and Designated Landscapes within Perth and Kinross.
“The proposal will also have a cumulative visual impact when viewed from the Carse of Gowrie in association with the nearby, recently constructed wind farm at Lochelbank.”
Submitted by Newburgh Community Trust (NCT), the application outlines a “community wind farm” which is designed to bring local benefits.
Three 100m-tall turbines, which will have a total generating capacity of 6.9MW, will lie on a 2.2-hectare elevated site which ranges from 150m to 285m above sea level, making the turbines visible from the Carse of Gowrie on the other side of the Firth of Tay.
The bid has already been steeped in controversy. Disgruntled locals have pointed out that Councillor Andrew Arbuckle, who chairs Fife Council’s North East Fife Area Committee, which will vote on the application, is also the NCT chairman.
In response, Cllr Arbuckle said he would not take any part in the decision.
Disappointed that they haven’t been contacted in relation to the proposals, a spokesperson for Errol Community Council said yesterday: “We haven’t been officially contacted about it.
“We are concerned about the visual impact and it will be fully discussed at our next meeting on the 25th.
“Unfortunately it seems it will be too late by then.”
A PKC spokesperson said: “We have made comment to Fife Council on this application, with particular regard to consultation, the nature of the development and site location, and visual and construction traffic impact.
“We trust these will be useful in the process of considering the application.”
A spokesperson for Fife Council said yesterday: “The application is being assessed and as such it would be inappropriate to comment on the potential impacts.”
The consultation period is due to end on August 26.
To comment, visit http://planning.fife.gov.uk/online and key-in application number 11/01806/FULL.