Supermarket giant Asda is to challenge a decision by councillors to throw out plans for a towering wind turbine at New Bankside.
At a special meeting of Falkirk Council’s regulatory committee, Asda’s bid to erect a 125-metre (410ft) high turbine at its distribution centre on Falkirk’s Northern Distributor Road was rejected.
Asda, which lodged the application last year, said the three-blade turbine would produce two megawatts of electricity and provide three-quarters of the power needed to run the depot.
But councillors, while insisting they were environmentally-conscious, said they could not accept the proposal. Councillor David Alexander, who addressed the committee as a local representative, said: “I’m in favour of wind power, but this application is not black or white, it’s shades of grey on pluses and minuses.
”I believe there were alternatives and the same electricity could be generated with a number of smaller turbines as opposed to one large one. It’s massive, higher than Falkirk Steeple, and could become a landmark a
nd that’s not favourable.”
Councillor John Constable, who reminded the committee about Falkirk’s Helix project being undertaken, added: “We support anything friendly to the environment, but the devil is in the detail. It will be detrimental to the World Heritage Site, and there are no benefits to the community.”
Council planning officials recommended approval, but four letters of objection were received from residents and Grangemouth Community Council expressing concern about the visual impact.
Mark Orpin, Asda’s wind turbine project manager, said: “We believe the Falkirk site is an excellent location for one of our turbines and we will be appealing against the council’s decision.”
Stuart Hay of Friends of the Earth added: ”This is probably one of the few occasions when we agree with Asda.”
20 December 2007
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