The owners of Scone Palace, Mansfield Estates, have claimed that a 14-turbine wind farm development on another piece of their land in Perthshire could be vital in securing much-needed future local economic growth.
The controversial Logiealmond proposal, which has prompted around 500 letters of objection from local residents, will go before Perth and Kinross Council next week.
Chief executive of Mansfield Estates, Suzanne Urquhart, commented, “In order to create a sustainable future for the locality, we must diversify our income streams and find new sources of revenue.
“The rental from the proposed development would represent an outstanding opportunity to do just that. Indeed, revenue received from this development would be re-invested to ensure that we can maintain the integrity and quality of the area’s economy and present quality of life.
“It is a concern that if we are not able to find new sources of income then this will result in deficiencies in the maintenance of these.
“Mansfield Estates are very eager to see revenues injected in the local area around Logiealmond and welcome any major catalyst for economic activity to reverse a long-standing economic trend caused by a lack of investment.
“As such we strongly endorse the proposed Logiealmond wind farm and urge the approval of its planning application.”
Developers AMEC previously withdrew a 40-turbine scheme in favour of the current 14-turbine plan but the Amulree and Strathbraan Wind Farm Action Group are still standing strong against it.
Group member Anne Lindsay previously said, “I think around 500 letters of objection have gone in from around the Strathbraan area, which is about the same level of objection that there was to the previous AMEC proposal.
“If anything, people feel even more strongly about this one. We feel very strongly this is not an appropriate thing to happen here and will be very, very destructive.”
The objections focus mainly upon the effect the turbines will have on the largely unspoiled landscape along the Highland boundary line.
The visual impact is especially relevant, objectors feel, because of Sir John Everett Millais’ famous landscapes—including one of the very site where the turbines would be built, The Fringe Of The Moor.
Other objections include the effect on local wildlife and, despite promises of safeguards, possible destruction of private water supplies during concrete batching by the River Braan.
Perceived inadequacies in the road network are also highlighted.
AMEC say the 107-metre turbines are expected to generate two megawatts of energy each for the next 20 years, enough to meet the electricity needs of 15,600 households.
The development is not without public support, however, as a church leader has backed it.
The minister of Auchtergaven and Moneydie Parish Church, the Rev Iain McFadzean, believes the project’s developers would pour cash into the community if given the green light.
AMEC have confirmed they would be prepared to support important community projects including partial restoration of Bankfoot Church.
Other potential projects include restoration of a 19th century church tower on a hilltop near Bankfoot which has stood derelict for more than four years.
By Eric Nicolson