Council fears windfarm’s impact on Bell Rock lighthouse has been ‘understated’

A massive windfarm 10 miles off the Angus coast could have a devastating impact on one of the county’s major cultural assets, it has been claimed.

The sea view towards the Bell Rock lighthouse will show the 200-year-old structure dwarfed by turbines 5 times its size, according to Angus Council.

The authority is due to submit its comments on the development before a Thursday deadline and believes the impact of the 213 turbines has been “understated.”

It is now set to ask Marine Scotland to further examine of its potential effects.

The report by planning and place director Vivien Smith also mentions the risk of “doubling up” with other planned turbine developments and causing “significant cumulative seascape effect.”

She said: “From land, the Bell Rock lighthouse is the only tall structure in the seaward view and, apart from passing ships, the only light source at night on an otherwise dark horizon.

“It is evident that the proposed development will have an impact on the seascape units in Angus.

“On the basis of the above assessment, it is considered that the impacts upon seascape character have not been fully assessed.

“Accordingly it is suggested that Marine Scotland require further assessment of impact on seascape character to take particular account of the Bell Rock and any lighting required for aviation/shipping safeguarding.”

Inch Cape Offshore Limited (ICOL) was awarded exclusive development rights in 2011 for the Inch Cape site.

It is one of 10 identified by the Crown Estates in Scottish territorial waters as potential windfarm locations.

Neither Historic Scotland nor the Scottish Environment Protection Agency have objected to the proposal, and Scottish Natural Heritage has yet to respond, due to ornithological studies yet to complete.

The various offshore developers have collaborated on a seascape character assessment, which the council said “has a number of shortcomings” and does not reference the lighthouse in any of the “seascape units.”

These companies each have potential offshore windfarm developments off the Forth and Tay coasts.