A windfarm company is widening its search for potential sites.
Airtricity Developments (UK) Ltd has submitted three applications to Stirling Council planners, seeking to erect meteorological masts.
The masts would test weather conditions on the sites to check their potential suitability.
Although the council planners are recommending approval of the masts, they add that this does not indicate a windfarm would necessarily be approved.
Airtricity wants to put up two masts in hills near North Third Reservoir, one 960 metres west of Todholes Cottage and the other 1400 metres north-west of Craigengelt Farm
A 60m mast is earmarked for four kilometres north of Bows Farm, Kilbryde and Brack Road, Doune.
All three would be erected for a temporary period of 24 months.
Council planners said: “The applicant’s agent has advised that the purpose of the met masts is to gather wind yield data for the application sites in question.
“Wind yield is variable and these met masts are required to establish whether or not the identified site could be suitable for further examination.
“It is by no means the case that all met mast sites, regardless of the wind yield data obtained, graduate to become the subject of a planning application for a windfarm.
“Other factors would need to be assessed and categorised before any final decision would be taken.
“These application sites form only a small percentage of a portfolio of similar sites that are being examined elsewhere. Only a relatively small number of this larger portfolio will actually graduate to form the site of a proposed windfarm.
“The mast structure has a narrow, fine profile which will have a negligible visual impact on the surrounding landscape. There are no objections from the Civil Aviation Authority, the MoD, NATS and environmental health.
“There are no planning reasons to withhold temporary planning permission for two years. Approval of the applications would not indicate support or otherwise for windfarms in the same locations as each application is determined on its own merits.”
29 February 2008
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