Plans for a towering wind turbine at Methil docks have generated concerns among sections of the community.
The turbine, which will measure two thirds of the height of the chimney at the nearby power station, is incorporated in proposals for a £3 million renewable energy development for the area.
It will provide some of the power for the Hydrogen Office and Demonstration Centre due to be completed at Methil Energy Park later this year with the potential for 1300 jobs.
Hydrogen Office developer Alsherra Investments Ltd–which is likely to apply for planning permission in the near future–says its research shows the park’s neighbours are largely in favour of the plans, but a group of residents in Whyterose Terrace has called for a meeting with local politicians to discuss their concerns.
They fear the large turbine will tower over their homes and reduce the value of their property, and have claimed it will create noise pollution in the form of a constant, low hum of up to 62 decibels which will, in turn, affect their health.
Hoping to organise a meeting between residents, councillors and Alsherra to clarify the situation, local woman Isobel Drummond said, “Nowhere in any of the mock-ups is there any sign of the local housing that will be blighted by the monstrosity that will tower over their properties.
“We are not against regeneration. We are not against greening our environment … What we don’t need is a monstrous, inefficient wind turbine, providing only 25% of this Hydrogen Office’s power, blighting our environment.”
Jim Keillor, of Alsherra, said plans for the Hydrogen Office and Demonstration Centre were unveiled in January and a public meeting had been held in Methil at that time, followed by a “public engagement programme.”
“While we fully appreciate that proposals of this kind spark debate, we have been encouraged by the fact that of the 127 local residents we have spoken to, 80% are either in favour or feel neutral about the proposed project,” he said.
“This project is of national significance which represents a fantastic opportunity for Fife to develop a world-leading renewable energy project that will not only bring local and national economic benefits but will help tackle climate change and reduce the UK’s growing dependence on imported energy supplies.”
By Claire Warrender
15 June 2007
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