A document which will influence Fife Council when it decides on the Auchtermuchty windfarm proposal appears to favour the project.
The environmental assessment – an independent study to gauge the pros and cons of the scheme – suggests a windfarm in the village would be a good thing.
It states the five-turbine project beside Auchtermuchty Common would “provide significant environmental benefits” in terms of addressing climate change, while it would also give a boost to the local economy.
“The proposal also provides local economic benefits to the local community and has the potential to have a net ecological benefit,” according to the report.
Although it does concede that the development would “change the landscape and have a visual impact”, the authors of the study, Stephenson Halliday, said its overall significance was “limited” and indeed a matter of personal perception.
The study also reports that developer Energie Kontor attempted to minimise issues of noise, impact on cultural heritage and hydrology and traffic in its application for the 100 metre blades.
Noting that the local authority will have to deal with other considerations like impact on residents, the report states: “Overall, it is concluded that the potential impacts do not outweigh the policy imperative and environmental and economic benefits of the proposal.”
A departure hearing into the windfarm is likely to take place in Auchtermuchty within the next two months before councillors vote on the matter at a future development committee.
It will give locals the chance to quiz both councillors and EnergieKontor officials on the proposal.
Vice-chairman of protest group Auchtermuchty Landscape and Environment, Graeme Whyte, said while the study was important, it was not a complete ringing endorsement for the windfarm.
“Of course, the council will consider it because it is a weighty document, but it does miss quite a lot of important facts,” he said.
“To say it won’t have a significant effect on the surroundings is wrong. The report compares it to other windfarms which are in completely different locations.
“When you have low, rolling hills like in ‘Muchty and consider these turbines will be 300 feet above the town, it’s clear that they will cut right into the skyline.”
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