Controversial plans for 14 giant turbines in the scenic Ochil Hills will come under the spotlight when a public inquiry opens in the Glenfarg Hotel this morning.
It follows the rejection of a planning bid by Green Power (International) Ltd. to erect the 112-metre high turbines on land at Little Law, five kilometres east of Auchterarder.
Although the applicants are now proposing the option of reducing the height of the turbines to 100 metres, they would still be the tallest considered in the latest round of appeals relating to the Ochil Hills.
At a special meeting of Perth and Kinross Council’s development control committee, held in Perth City Hall in June, 2005, councillors threw out the application on three grounds. They were:
1 The proposal was contrary to Policy 4 of the Perth and Kinross Structure Plan because a Tayside Landscape Character Assessment recommended avoiding wind turbines on exposed ridgelines and summits, where visual influence would extend to the north and south of the Ochils.
2 It was contrary to Policy 8 of the same plan as it would “significantly harm” the Garden and Designed Landscape of Gleneagles Hotel.
3 It was contrary to Policy 14 of the plan because the impacts of the proposed windfarm were considered to have a “significant and harmful impact” on the local environmental quality of the area, primarily due to its adverse impact on visual amenity and on the landscape character of the Ochils and the surrounding area.
The inquiry is scheduled to run until February 2.
Public inquiries have already taken place into other windfarms plans for the Ochils ““ at Snow Goat Glen, near Dunning (NPower Renewables Ltd.), Lochelbank Farm, near Glenfarg (NPower Renewables), and Mellock Hill, near Crook of Devon (RDC Scotland Ltd.).
A “conjoined” hearing will take place once the Little Law hearing ends. That will be held in the Salutation Hotel, Perth, starting on February 27 and running until March 20.
By Les Stewart
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