July 30, 2008

New Clatto Hill wind farm fears

Members of a landscape protection group who were involved in a successful campaign against a wind farm plan for Clatto Hill near Cupar are “filled with dread” over the prospect of having to go through the whole process all over again.

Greg Brown, chairman of Clatto Landscape Protection Group (CLPG), expressed fears as plans for the area resurface in the hands of a different operator.

Previous plans for 17 turbines on Clatto Hill were fought by the group after they were revealed by Scottish Power in 2003, and the project was later ditched.

Now north Wales company West Coast Energy, which is behind the first wind farm in Fife to be granted planning permission—at Little Raith, near Cowdenbeath—is seeking to add to its portfolio in the area.

It has confirmed that the hill, between Cupar and Kennoway, is one of several sites being looked at in Fife, and has already put up a small anemometer mast to gauge wind speed.

The company has stressed that it is looking all over Scotland for wind energy sites, and is also looking at other options in Fife.

There is no indication of how many turbines would be planned for Clatto Hill if the matter is taken forward.

The previous application from Scottish Power was rejected by Fife Council, then the power firm pulled out of a proposed public inquiry.

Mr Brown said yesterday that the group is naturally very concerned about the prospect of any new proposal for wind turbines on the hill.

“It’s hard to describe how awful it was to go through the previous wind farm proposal, blighting our lives for nearly three years.

“To face all this again fills us all with dread. But if we have to fight an inappropriate proposal again, that is what we will do.

“It doesn’t bode well for community relations with West Coast Energy when they informed neither the council’s planning service nor the community of their proposal to erect an anemometer mast.

“We have now heard from the council that West Coast Energy will be applying for the erection of a bigger mast,” he said.

It is expected that an application from EnergieKontor for a hotly opposed wind farm at Ceres will soon be considered by members of Fife Council’s north-east Fife area committee.

The company recently lost a planning appeal relating to elevated ground above Auchtermuchty, and its Ceres plans have run into objections from the MOD over a possible effect on radar signals involving RAF Leuchars.

By Gordon Berry

The Courier

30 July 2008

URL to article:  https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2008/07/30/new-clatto-hill-wind-farm-fears/