Wind turbines have put the wind up a Dunfermline councillor, who has called them a “blot on the landscape”.
Bill McCulloch has told the Press of his concern over the “proliferation” of wind turbine applications in the north and west of Dunfermline, claiming that there have been more than 100 applications made or in the pipeline since March this year.
Mr McCulloch said, “Many of these applications are for a small number of turbine or for single turbines but cumulatively it looks like we are getting a giant wind farm by stealth.
“The latest addition in the planning pipeline is an application for four giant wind turbines, each 410 feet high, in the area of land to the north of Halbeath roundabout.
“These turbines will be taller than the Forth Bridge and will dwarf the nearby Hill of Beath!
“When residents of Halbeath, Crossgates, Kingseat and Bellyeoman walk down the street or look out their windows to the east, these giants will dominate the skyline.”
He conceded that wind turbines made a contribution to energy needs but added, “I’m also concerned that this proliferation might have a negative impact on our local economy, tourism in particular.
“Dunfermline rightly boasts a growing tourist market with over £60million being spent by visitors to the city and surrounding countryside.
“It is important, therefore, that we balance the costs and the benefits of wind turbines against the beautiful landscape that surrounds Dunfermline.”
Councillors knocked back plans for a wind monitoring mast near Crossford last week.
The South West Fife area committee turned down proposals by London-based Partnership for Renewables to put up a temporary 70m (230ft) mast for three years in the Dean Plantation, north of the village.
Planners had recommended approval for the plans, which had received more than 10 objections.
Concerns raised included the mast’s visual impact on the landscape; the impact on recreational users; its contravening adopted and emerging Local Plans; and its visibility from the Dunfermline green belt and other areas.
West Fife Villages councillors were united in their opposition to the mast.
Willie Ferguson added, “I don’t see any need for this. There’s no lasting benefit.”
Bobby Clelland quoted Local Plan policies on landscape enhancement and environmental quality, saying the plans went against making “a positive contribution to the area” and moved for refusal.
Similarly, Gerry McMullan did not believe it was “sympathetic to the area”.
He said, “When I look at the representations, ‘there’s no proven need other than a precursor to wind turbines’, I agree with that.”
However, Rosyth councillor Douglas Chapman disagreed, saying, “It’s not about any subsequent application that might come forward.
“I just don’t see what the issue is here.”
Committee chair Alice McGarry also warned, “If they do appeal then the grounds on which this decision is based are weak.
“We need to look at this application and not what comes further down the road.
“It’s only testing the winds, not to benefit anyone.”
However, councillors voted six to two against the plans.