The people of Auchtermuchty have been urged to attend next week’s public inquiry to show they oppose plans to build a windfarm close to their homes.
Auchtermuchty Landscape and Environment (ALE) group chair David White said it was important for residents to go along to the six-day inquiry, which begins on Tuesday.
“The last opportunity that the populace of Auchtermuchty and area … have to publicly show their opposition is to attend the public inquiry and let the reporter see how many people oppose it,” he said.
“I am hoping we have a good turnout.”
The public inquiry in Auchtermuchty’s Victoria Hall will consider EnergieKontor’s application to construct five wind turbines at Rossie.
Objectors ALE and Auchtermuchty and Strathmiglo Community Council will give evidence, as well as the developer’s representatives, Fife Council and Howe of Fife and Tay Coast councillor Donald Lothian.
EnergieKontor appealed to the then Scottish Executive last year because Fife Council had not decided on the application, which attracted more than 400 objections.
The council’s planning committee later voted to oppose the windfarm, partly because councillors felt more information was required about the impact of noise and shadow flicker.
Councillor Lothian said the project had met with significant opposition “although it has to be acknowledged that there are residents who support it”.
“The community have worked tirelessly in preparing their opposition for presentation at the planning inquiry and their efforts are to be commended,” he said.
Mr White said his group felt “quietly confident” ahead of the hearing and fund-raising to finance the campaign was going reasonably well.
EnergieKontor general manager Judith Cornfield said her company, which originally had sought an
earlier date for the inquiry, was ready to go ahead next week.
All the necessary information had been supplied, she said.
Auchtermuchty and Strathmiglo Community Council chair David Cowling will tell the inquiry about the windfarm’s harmful visual impact on the town and its landscape setting.
“Unlike so many other places, this royal burgh has not been swallowed by the 20th and 21st centuries, but has rather modestly embraced them and made them thus far a part of its charm,” he said in his submission.
The community council opposed the EnergieKontor proposal because it conflicted with advice from the Fife landscape character assessment, the current Cupar and Howe of Fife Local Plan and the current Fife Structure Plan.
“It is of such scale as to be wholly inappropriate for the rich fabric and intimate scale of its chosen host, and to which it would be alien,” said Mr Cowling.
By Janet Howie
10 January 2008
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