Wind farm plans back on the ta­ble

De­vel­op­ers appeal plan­ning de­ci­sion

Blairgowrie Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - Clare Damodaran

ABO Wind UK, the com­pany be­hind pro­pos­als for the 11tur­bine Green Burn wind farm north of Bridge of Cally, has sub­mit­ted an appeal against Perth and Kin­ross Coun­cil’s re­fusal to grant plan­ning per­mis­sion.

The lo­cal author­ity’s plan­ning com­mit­tee re­jected a re­vised ap­pli­ca­tion for the devel­op­ment 11km north west of Alyth in March this year.

An­nounc­ing the de­ci­sion to sub­mit an appeal, Clark Cros­bie, head of devel­op­ment at ABO Wind UK, said: “We were ex­tremely dis­ap­pointed by the de­ci­sion of the coun­cil’s plan­ning com­mit­tee.

“We have re­viewed the de­ci­sion in de­tail and we re­main of the view that our pro­posal com­plies with all rel­e­vant tech­ni­cal and plan­ning re­quire­ments.”

The appeal has been sub­mit­ted to the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment’s direc­torate of plan­ning and en­vi­ron­men­tal ap­peals (DPEA) and an in­de­pen­dent re­porter will be ap­pointed to de­ter­mine the out­come.

The ap­pli­ca­tion cen­tred on 11 tur­bines ear­marked for Green Burn wind farm, sit­u­ated on

land 1.2km west of the ex­ist­ing Drumderg Wind Farm, which sits 5km north­east of Bridge of Cally.

Ap­pli­cant ABO Wind UK’s sub­mis­sion was rec­om­mended for re­fusal by coun­cil plan­ners due to “cu­mu­la­tive land­scape im­pacts on res­i­den­tial, recre­ational and tourist re­cep­tors”.

Coun­cil­lors voted eight to four to re­ject the devel­op­ment.

Mr Cros­bie added: “We be­lieve strongly that Green Burn wind farm is an ap­pro­pri­ately de­signed wind farm, lo­cated within an area the coun­cil has for­mally iden­ti­fied as hav­ing ca­pac­ity for a wind farm ac­tu­ally larger than our Green Burn pro­pos­als.

“We were es­pe­cially dis­ap­pointed with the plan­ner’s rec­om­men­da­tion to refuse on land­scape and vis­ual im­pact grounds, when nei­ther SNH, the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment’s land­scape ad­vi­sor, nor the coun­cil’s own in­de­pen­dent land­scape ad­vi­sor, rec­om­mended an ob­jec­tion.”

Lo­cal res­i­dents are un­happy that the coun­cil’s de­ci­sion is be­ing ap­pealed.

Ali­son Petrie com­mented: “We are very dis­ap­pointed that ABO Wind has de­cided to appeal against Perth and Kin­ross Coun­cil’s de­ci­sion in March. We have un­til July 3 to re­spond to this appeal.

“It is a very short time­frame at a very busy time of year for the com­mu­nity.

“We had over 150 res­i­dents and groups ob­ject­ing. It is vi­tal that those with con­cerns about the devel­op­ment re­it­er­ate those con­cerns.”

Con­ser­va­tive coun­cil­lor for the Blair­gowrie and Glens ward, Caro­line Shiers, also ex­pressed her dis­ap­point­ment at the news.

She said: “I am dis­ap­pointed that there is to be an appeal re­gard­ing the Green­burn Wind Farm and trust that the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment re­porter will take on board the views of those who made rep­re­sen­ta­tion against the orig­i­nal ap­pli­ca­tion.

“The ar­gu­ment against the ap­pli­ca­tion on the grounds of cu­mu­la­tive im­pact was a very con­vinc­ing one when the de­ci­sion was made by the coun­cil’s devel­op­ment man­age­ment com­mit­tee, and led to the de­ci­sion to refuse.

“I am con­cerned too that, yet again, a com­mit­tee made up of lo­cal­ly­elected rep­re­sen­ta­tives of com­mu­ni­ties in Perth and Kin­ross may now have their de­ci­sion over-turned by the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment re­porter.

“I sup­port the prin­ci­ple of de­ci­sion-mak­ing on applications which will have a huge ef­fect on a com­mu­nity be­ing made at a lo­cal level so that lo­cal ac­count­abil­ity can be main­tained.”

And SNP coun­cil­lor for the ward Tom McEwan com­mented: “Although I am aware of con­cerns re­gard­ing wind tur­bines, if the appeal de­ci­sion is to ap­prove this devel­op­ment, then lo­cal groups through­out the ward could have ac­cess to funds which would ben­e­fit their growth and the lo­cal com­mu­nity as a whole.”

Con­tro­ver­sial The pro­posed site

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