A Fife village considered by some the most beautiful in Scotland could be devastated by wind turbines towering over it, according to its community councillors.
Ceres and District Community Council has added its voice to the mounting opposition to plans for a wind farm just 1.9km east of Ceres, in the hillside at Gathercauld.
The five 80 metre high turbines are the subject of a planning application by wind power firm EnergieKontor UK, which is also behind the proposals for a wind farm at Auchtermuchty.
The community council voted to object to the wind farm—a decision it insisted was measured and taken after canvassing opinion for several months.
Chairman Grant Robertson said, “Ceres is often considered the most beautiful village in Scotland and the thought of this beauty being devastated by those turbines towering over the village is too shocking to imagine.”
The vote, at the community council’s recent packed meeting, was unanimous.
Mr Robertson said, “We have come to this decision only after taking professional advice. The adverse impact on Ceres, as an outstanding conservation village, is so great as to make this proposal unacceptable in planning policy terms.”
He said the community council had delayed taking a view on the wind farm for more than 16 months to allow a planning application to be submitted and properly assessed by local planning professionals.
Of the stance, he added, “It has been a thorough and thoughtful assessment of the proposal, not a knee-jerk reaction.
“Scotland is a large country with many unpopulated landscapes capable of accommodating wind farms without such adverse and detrimental impact on visual and residential amenity.
“This application simply affects too many communities, the landscape and the people who live within this stunning countryside.
“I have been canvassing opinion throughout the last year on the prospect of a wind farm overlooking Ceres and have found very few in favour.
“As a result I am in no doubt that people within our area are overwhelmingly against this proposal.”
The community council also urged residents concerned about the prospect of wind turbines at Gathercauld to make their views known to Fife Council in writing.
Mr Robertson said, “The council must be left in no doubt as to the strength of feeling in this community.”
Although EnergieKontor UK admitted the wind farm would change the landscape, it has claimed the visual impact would be limited and positive or negative depending on individual perception of turbines.
It also said the environmental and economic benefits of the development would outweigh the potential impact. Habitat enhancements could bring a net ecological benefit, it said, and other potential issues, including impact on cultural heritage, hydrology and traffic levels had been sufficiently mitigated to limit their significance.
By Cheryl Wood
28 July 2007
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