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Councillors unanimously reject Perthshire windfarm

Members of the Antonine Guard who celebrate Scotland’s Roman past at Ardoch fort, Braco.
Members of the Antonine Guard who celebrate Scotland’s Roman past at Ardoch fort, Braco.

A windfarm which would have been seen from Scotland’s best-preserved Roman fort has been rejected.

The application for nine turbines near Greenacres by Braco angered councillors as a smaller development in the same area had been refused by them in the past, a decision upheld on appeal.

“I am appalled that another application has been brought forward for this site,” said Councillor Tom Gray, convener of the council’s development management committee.

Seconding his move for refusal Councillor Murray Lyle said the applicants were attempting to “defend the indefensible”.

“It is sad they ignored this council and the reporter, nothing has changed materially from the previous plan,” he said.

The site which is predominantly forested is part of the transitional landscape between the Highlands and the Lowlands which is commonly referred to as the Highland boundary fault which Mr Gray referred to as “a sublime area of wilderness”.

A report before the committee pointed out that Ardoch Roman fort was under 3km from the turbines.

The military complex represents major incursions by the Roman army into Scotland from the 1st century to early 3rd century AD.

“The combination of these remains is unique in their ability to show the mass movement of troops through the countryside during this time,” said Nick Brian, the council’s interim head of planning.

While the turbines would not impact on the understanding of the monument, they would alter the appreciation of it in its landscape setting, he said.

The windfarm proposal, which would have had an operational life of 25 years, attracted 418 letters with objections ranging from the impact on tourism, excessive height and claims that it was out of scale and there would be a loss of trees.

Five community councils – Crieff, East Strathearn, Muthill and Tullibardine, Auchterarder and District, Braco and Greenloaning, all objected to the development.

Recommending refusal Mr Brian said it would have had an “unacceptable adverse landscape impact” and would have “compromised” the setting of the scheduled ancient monument, Ardoch fort.

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