A popular nativity play which has become a highlight of Fife’s festive season could be threatened by the creation of a wind farm.
Lochiehead Nativity Play is staged just 800 metres from the site on the edge of Auchtermuchty on which Energiekontor wants to build five huge turbines.
Organisers said the noise from the 100-metre high turbines at Rossie would disturb the open air play, in a barn at Lochiehead Farm, and upset the animals which form part of its cast.
The play, which has featured on the BBC’s watchnight programmes, has attracted thousands of spectators since it was first staged by Charlotte de Klee 12 years ago.
Mrs de Klee said, “The wind farm proposal does definitely threaten the future of our play.
“Should permission be granted to erect the proposed wind turbines it is unlikely that we will be able to stage the play in future years.
“These massive turbines, which will be located around 800 metres from the site of the play, will almost certainly create a noise that will not only detract from the play but is also likely to upset the animals which form an integral part of the performance.
“The Lochiehead nativity is very much a community event which has attracted well over 12,000 people over the past 12 years, who have loved the story of Christ’s birth being told in such a dramatic way.”
However, Energiekontor project manager Mick McLaughlin disagreed.
He said, “I don’t know where they hold their play and I don’t know what animals they have, but I can’t see how the turbines would jeopardise the play.
“If Mrs de Klee wants to speak to the company about her concerns we are more than willing to listen to what she has to say.”
Energiekontor is seeking planning consent for the wind farm, but has appealed directly to the Scottish Executive on the grounds of non-determination within the appropriate timescale by Fife Council.
A public inquiry is scheduled to begin on January 15.
Directed by Helen Molchanoff, Lochiehead Nativity Play was founded by Mrs de Klee shortly after she moved to Lochiehead with her husband Rupert and children.
Her parents, Peter and Ann Hutley, established a successful similar event, the Wintershall Nativity, at their farm in Surrey.
This year there is a cast of 35—including baby Daniel Schellenberg playing Jesus —some of them regular and some new members from the local area and further afield.
The play, which begins tonight and continues until Tuesday also features live sheep, cattle, donkeys and horses.
Final rehearsals were taking place last night.
For tickets ring 01382 330039 or log on to www.lochieheadnativityplay.com.
14 December 2007
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