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Council to debate Aberfeldy windfarm project  

Plans for a 14-turbine windfarm in Highland Perthshire are set to be debated by councillors tomorrow (Wednesday).

If given the go-ahead by Perth and Kinross Council’s development control committee, the 100m-high structures, access tracks, sub-station and borrow pits would be built on 221 hectares of elevated moorland at Calliacher, four miles south of Aberfeldy.

Perth-based I and H Brown’s scaled- down application is the third version of a windfarm proposal at the site to be submitted for consideration.

An earlier plan for 27 turbines was refused consent by the Scottish Ministers following a conjoined public inquiry with the nearby Griffin proposal.

It was decided then that 13 structures would have a significant visual effect when seen from the public road through Glen Quaich.

The council’s development quality manager Nick Brian will urge councillors to back the latest proposals at tomorrow’s meeting, and issue a warning about the possible implications of refusing approval.

“I consider the omission of the 13 turbines has now resulted in a proposal which is acceptable in both landscape and visual terms,” he said yesterday.

“I therefore consider any decision by the council, other than a conditional approval, would be unjustified and could potentially result in a public inquiry which the council is unlikely to satisfactory defend on planning grounds.”

Lying between Glen Cochil and Glen Quaich, the proposed site is irregularly shaped and is over 450 metres above sea level, rising to 623 metres at the summit of Meall Odhar.

Separately, an outcome is still awaited after a public inquiry into proposals for the massive Beauly to Denny powerline, which would cut through Glen Quaich.

The council option hopes the section will be routed underground to create a “net environmental benefit” if re-routing through nearby Glen Cochil is not possible.

In a written report, Mr Brian said the individual location and heights of the 14 turbines have remained unchanged from those that were considered during the inquiry for the larger scheme of 27 turbines.

However, permission has since been given for a windfarm at Griffin, near Trochry, and proposals for a windfarm at Logiealmond have also surfaced.

Individuals and action groups have submitted 325 letters of representation to the council, almost exclusively objecting to the proposals.

The Amulree and Strathbraan Windfarm Action Group, the Ramblers Association of Scotland and walking holidays firm Transcotland are also against the plan, citing the potential adverse impact on the area’s landscape character.

Other concerns include the potential impact on tourism and jobs, access and traffic issues and the impact on wildlife and water resources.


6 May 2008

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