Fife councillors have paved the way for two new wind turbines to be constructed off the coast of Methil provided their concerns are taken into account.
Members of the central area planning committee stopped short of lodging an objection against Marine Scotland’s plans for the 198.7 metre high structures just 1.5km south-west of the Fife Energy Park, although they have urged the Scottish Government to heed their fears over the potential noise impact on coastal properties.
While the final decision will be taken by Ministers, Fife’s response to the Scottish Government’s consultation on the plans was crafted by councillors yesterday who, in addition to seeking assurances over cumulative noise, want clauses to be put in place that would see the structures brought down if they lie dormant for more than 12 months.
Councillors similarly asked for a bond that would allow the removal of the turbines in that event, and also for information on the location of any underwater cables which could be passed on to fishermen.
Council officers will now include those aspects in Fife’s formal response, adding to their own requests for more details relating to noise impact and ecological impact.
Noise was the overriding factor for councillors at yesterday’s meeting after the committee was told there would be “little headroom” between the turbine noise and acceptable limits “at certain wind speeds”.
At that, Councillor Ross Vettraino said: “My alarm grows by the second.
“If we think the noise from this turbine is going to be audible then we should be objecting to it in principle.”
However, planner Stuart Wilson assured the committee that Fife’s response would ask Marine Scotland to take “due account” of those concerns and ensure mitigating measures are put in place.
The committee also heard that 2-B Energy, the company behind the plans, have recently installed their distinctive two-bladed devices in the Netherlands, and that further noise information could be gleaned from there.