Parks chiefs have lodged an official objection to a plan to lay cable for a £6 billion offshore windfarm through land on the world-famous Carnoustie golf links.
The 120-turbine Seagreen Wind Energy plan off the Angus coast has been hailed as a renewables contract bonanza.
However, Angus Council, which owns the links land that hosted the 2018 Open Championship, has signalled its official opposition to a compulsory purchase order bid for almost 30 acres of ground on the coast at Carnoustie.
Seagreen wants to bring cabling from the Alpha and Bravo windfarms, almost 30 kilometres out at sea, ashore at the town, before power is carried across the district to a new substation at Tealing, north of Dundee.
In their letter of opposition, the council’s parks service has said it fears the cabling work will affect the golf course fairways and tees and existing flora, and will have a “considerable detrimental effect on a large number of mature trees”.
“Consideration should be given to routing the cable along the length of the existing access track on the southern edge of the Buddon Links, minimising the environmental impact and allowing future maintenance access to the pipeline without affecting the long term viability and management of Carnoustie Golf Links,” the council’s statement continues.
Last month, Seagreen described the 1.5 gigawatt scheme as being at a “critical stage” and said it would be using ploughing as the preferred method for sinking cables from the start point of their land journey near the town’s Black Slab car park.
A “spider plough” would to be used for the installation of three 220kV cable circuits and one fibre-optic duct along around a kilometre of the consented route through the golf course.
Access for the infrastructure project would be taken across the east coast main rail line at Barry station and from existing roads within the links.
The parks service objection continues: “The trenching technique will cause considerable disruption and the combined weights of the plant and associated vehicles increase soil compaction to the detriment of the existing soil structure.
“The applicant should demonstrate what consideration is being given to the long term effects of the works, how these will be negated and over what timescale.”
Parks bosses have also said the timing of the works will be “critical to the continuing operation of Carnoustie Golf Links” and have urged planners to cover that in a condition attached to any approval.
The authority recently established a special sub-committee to keep pace with developments on the proposal.
If issues such as the CPO cannot be resolved, the application may become the subject of a public inquiry.