An MSP has called for a second full public inquiry into the proposed wind farm at Calliacher near Aberfeldy.
Wind power developer I&H Brown has decided to appeal against Perth and Kinross Council’s decision to reject amended plans.
Mid Scotland and Fife MSP Murdo Fraser believes a public inquiry is now the only appropriate way to determine the appeal.
The original wind farm development proposal at Calliacher was rejected in 2007 after a public inquiry.
At the time the Scottish Executive’s Reporter indicated that the Calliacher project would be acceptable if reduced below 50 megawatts.
The developer subsequently came back to the council with a modified proposal following the outcome of the public inquiry.
However, in May members of Perth and Kinross Council’s development control committee voted 9 to 3 in favour of refusing that plan, despite warnings that rejecting the proposal might be difficult to defend at appeal.
The initial application was refused in part because 13 of the 27 turbines would have had an unacceptable visual impact from the road through Glen Quaich.
The amended proposal dispensed with those turbines, leaving the remaining 14 which the public inquiry reporter had deemed acceptable.
Mr Fraser believes that a wind farm at the site should now be ruled out altogether.
In his precognition at the original public inquiry in September 2006, he argued that the wind farm must be rejected because it would have a negative impact on the local tourism economy due to the damage to the scenery of the area.
“This latest bid is a new application and therefore should be treated as such with a new and full public inquiry,” Mr Fraser said.
“I believe that a full public inquiry will let all views be aired and allow for a full examination of the application.
“Perth and Kinross Council has already made it abundantly clear that they do not want this wind farm.
“The last thing that people in Highland Perthshire wanted is a fresh appeal and this saga continuing for another year or two.
“I want to see Scotland lead the way in renewable technology but better guidelines are needed so that submitted wind farm applications are sited appropriately.
“It is clear Scottish Government policy in this area is inadequate if revised wind farm applications that have already been rejected are again being appealed by developers.”
By Mark Mackay
8 July 2008
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