No appeal over Glen Isla windfarm but ‘potential’ for small scheme

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An artist's impression of how Saddlehill windfarm would look.

The firm behind a failed bid to create an “industrial scale” windfarm on the border of Angus and Perthshire will not appeal the decision of councillors.

Developers Wind Prospect said the £45 million Saddle Hill scheme in Glen Isla would have provided enough power for a fifth of the homes in Angus and delivered a £4m community bounty over the next 25 years.

In April, Angus councillors rejected a planning application for eight turbines on their side of the border, and were joined by Perth and Kinross councillors a month later over six masts on their patch.

Both development committees heeded the advice of planning officers that the scenery had “no scope” for a massive windfarm.

Wind Prospect has now told objectors it would not go through the Scottish Government appeal process but admitted there may be “potential” for a smaller scheme.

A spokesman for the firm said: “We have decided not to appeal Angus and Perth & Kinross Council’s decision to refuse the proposal for Saddle Hill Wind Farm based on its current form.

“We are currently considering our options and the potential of developing a revised scheme.

“We shall continue to keep the local community updated as plans progress.

Councillors heard impassioned pleas from a string of objectors including eco-tourism operator Euan Ivory who said the a go-ahead for the plan could sound the death knell for his business and put full and part-time jobs under threat.

A member of a family which has farmed in Glen Isla since the 19th Century, Mr Ivory said eco-tourism had been a successful diversification and his operation was a contributor to the vast number of commercially advertised tourist beds in the immediate area, but they had not been consulted by the developer over the proposal.

He told the committee 80% of clients had said they would not return to the area if Saddle Hill received approval.

Kirriemuir Landward West Community Council chairman Roger Clegg said the area’s “small and scattered” communities were having to “bear the brunt of an industrialisation of the hilltops”.

In Perthshire, Strathallan councillor Murray Lyle said the potential impact on tourism should have been a priority study for developers.

“To say that it will have a minimal impact on tourism is a real understatement to say the least,” he said.