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Wind power plans for Highland beauty spot  

Controversial plans for a giant windfarm development in a scenic area of Highland Perthshire have been lodged with Perth and Kinross Council.

Northumberland-based energy giant AMEC plc wants to erect 14, 107-metre high turbines at Logiealmond on the Mansfield Estate, writes Les Stewart.

The 28-megawatt scheme, which would operate for 20 years, could generate enough electricity to power around 15,600 households.

If it replaced coal-fired generation it would save the emission of 63,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.

The planning bid replaces previous proposals to construct 40 turbines on the site.

Development director John Price said yesterday: “The planning submission reflects our commitment to consultation and our open-minded approach to wind farm development.

“The first designs, presented to the community in 2004, consisted of approximately 40 wind turbines. Since this date we have worked very hard to incorporate consultation responses and the results of environmental studies into the final design, which has led to this planning submission consisting of 14 wind turbines.

“We believe that the new layout has been designed sympathetically to the local environment while remaining of a scale that could generate substantial benefits for the local community.

“The wind farm will be accompanied by a community fund which we expect to be worth approximately £40,000 per annum.

“In addition there is a possibility of the community taking a financial stake in the wind farm proposal.

“As a continuation of our flexible approach to this proposal, we will be starting a detailed consultation process on community benefit in the near future.”

Suzanne Urquhart, chief executive of Mansfield Estates, said: “We are viewing this as a very exciting opportunity for diversification to strengthen the business and ensure that investment can be made in the long-term future of the estate.

“The objective is to further develop the estate as a dynamic rural business in order that it can sustain and improve the livelihood and surroundings for those people that depend on it, whether as employees, tenants, local communities, tourists or contractors.

“This can be best achieved if the business can diversify into new areas, with the wind proposal being seen as a key opportunity within this framework.

“AMEC has taken extensive time and care in the preparation of this application, ensuring the landscape and environmental implications have been thoroughly assessed to ensure a scheme sympathetic to the surrounding area.”

AMEC has a policy of giving preference to local contractors and those who sub-contract work to local companies.

The wind farm is expected to have an operational life of 20 years. After that it would be decommissioned or be the subject of a new planning application.

Perthshire Advertiser

31 August 2007

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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