Planning chiefs say Perthshire wind farm is “unacceptable”

March 11 2017, 9.45amUpdated: March 10 2017, 11.09am
© ABO WindAn graphic of how the Green Burn windfarm could look.
An graphic of how the Green Burn windfarm could look.

Controversial plans for a large-scale east Perthshire wind farm could be kicked out by councillors next week after a backlash from residents and conservationists.

Developer ABO Wind wants to build its 11-turbine Green Burn project on land at Shiedrum Farm, between Alyth and Bridge of Cally.

If approved, each turbine would be more than 377ft tall, bigger than Big Ben.

The earmarked site is beside to the 16 turbine Drumderg development and fewer than three miles from the Tullymurdoch farm which has seven towers.

Perth and Kinross Council planners are urging members of the development management committee to reject the proposal when it is brought before them on Wednesday.

In his report, interim head of planning Nick Brian said: “The proposed wind farm has significant and unacceptable visual impacts, including cumulative landscape impacts on residential, recreational and tourist receptors.

“In light of the above it is considered that the magnitude of the adverse effects associated with the development are significant and environmentally unacceptable.”

More than 150 residents and groups have formally objected to the plan. Officers also received two letters of support, although one was from the landowner and therefore, not considered to be valid.

The John Muir Trust conservation charity said it had “serious concerns” about the proposal.

Policy officer John Low said: “The northerly edge of the Green Burn site is less than five miles from the boundary of the Cairngorms National Park.

“With a potential total of 842 turbines around the Cairngorms – either operational, consented or in the planning system – we are deeply concerned about the cumulative impact this development would have on one of Scotland’s most spectacular areas of wild land.”

Mr Low added: “Even in the immediate area around Green Burn, there could be a potential of 65 turbines. And with 3.3 million tonnes of reinforced concrete for the bases of the turbines on this wind farm alone, the increase in heavy transport will seriously disrupt the lives of local residents.”

Mount Blair Community Council secretary Alison Petrie said an increase in turbines would turn the area into an industrial site.

“Providers of tourist accommodation are concerned about their occupancy rates,” she said. “Tourism is one of the biggest earners in the area, where there are few jobs not related to agriculture, sporting activities and tourism.

“With one hand, we as a community try to develop business and encourage tourism, but developers from outwith the area bring a project that will kill any efforts we work hard to develop.”

No one from ABO Wind was available for comment. A spokeswoman previously said the site was within a “broad area of search” for wind energy schemes identified by the council.

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