Plans for a windfarm in Highland Perthshire were branded “a step too far” when they were thrown out this week, writes Jenny Wood.
Councillors unanimously agreed a windfarm at Logiealmond by Dunkeld would have a devastating effect on the area’s landscape and “fragile” local economy.
Leading refusal of planning permission for 14 turbines, likened to the height of the Forth Bridge, on a Highland Perthshire hillside just west of Dunkeld, was local councillor John Kellas.
He said: “I strongly support the whole question of the government’s policy on renewable energy, but I also have a role within the council’s enterprise and infrastructure committee.”
Pointing out tourism and local businesses would suffer if the landscape was destroyed, he added: “This is a step too far and would have a detrimental effect overall.”
Another local councillor, Alasdair Wylie, told committee members the Strathtay community affected would have “no escape” from windmills.
“When they step out of their back doors they would be faced with Griffin windfarm, but by also siting this one here, stepping out of the front door there would be no escape.”
And Councillor Barbara Vaughan questioned the applicant’s claims up to 200 jobs could be created by the windfarm and, in way of compensation, a cash fund set up for the community to spend as it saw fit.
The Strathtay councillor urged members of the development committee: “Please don’t be take for a ride on that one.”
Speaking on behalf of Mansfield Estate, who own the land earmarked for development, Suzanne Urquhart outlined the benefits for Perthshire if the windfarm were approved.
She said the money gained from the project could be used to strengthen the business of the estate, which includes Scone Palace, and invest in the area.
And Ms Urquhart gave examples of conservation work and employment opportunities which the money would fund.
But it was all in vain.
Councillors unanimously agreed the windfarm plans should not progress off the blueprints and refused to grant them planning approval.
by Jenny Wood
4 July 2008
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