Fife Council has been accused of not protecting residents from a towering wind turbine planned for Methil.
The proposal for the 80-metre structure, as part of a £3 million renewable energy development at Methil Energy Park, has generated concerns among a group of residents who fear it will affect their health and reduce the value of their property.
The turbine will provide some of the power for the Hydrogen Office and Demonstration Centre, due to be completed later this year with the potential for 1300 jobs.
Hydrogen Office developer Alsherra Investment Ltd says its research shows the park’s neighbours are largely in favour of the proposal, but some residents in Whyterose Terrace have voiced concerns and have called on Fife Council to act.
However, the council says it can do nothing until an official planning application is submitted and that is not expected to happen until the end of the month.
Spokeswoman for the Whyterose Terrace residents Isobel Drummond said Fife Council’s own planning guidelines stated that the minimum distance between a wind turbine and a neighbouring property should be 1.5 kilometres.
“That is obviously not the case here,” she said. “If you study the map of the Levenmouth area you will see how many houses fall within this affected area.
“You will be covering an area stretching round from Denbeath on the one hand, right through an arc taking in Methilhaven Road, a large chunk of Methilhill, down to Mountfleurie and on to Waggon Road and Church Road in Leven.”
Mrs Drummond claimed health issues caused by wind turbines could include heart and blood pressure problems, sleep disruption and sickness.
“We residents need straight answers to our legitimate concerns and we are not going to get them from the wind lobby or even our own public officials,” she said.
Plans for the Hydrogen Office and Demonstration Centre were unveiled in January and a public meeting was held in Methil followed by a “public engagement programme.”
Alsherra said 80% of the 127 residents spoken to were either in favour of or felt neutral about the proposed project.
Central Fife MSP Tricia Marwick said, “I recognise there are concerns and I’m working hard with both parties to see if there is any way they can be resolved before the planning application is submitted.”
By Claire Warrender
7 August 2007
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding