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North-east Fife subject of more wind farm interest

Another two wind farms may be in the pipeline for north-east Fife – both near sites of existing turbine proposals.

Irish firm Wind Energy Direct has submitted planning applications for wind masts at Devon Quarry and Belliston Quarry.

Wind masts – also known as anemometers – are usually installed to gauge the viability of a site for wind energy generation before wind farm projects are progressed.

The site at Devon Quarry is near Clatto Hill where objectors are already fighting plans for 10 turbines.

It is only a mile from Devon Wood, where farmer Douglas Rennie is hoping to erect three turbines 100 metres high on the western slopes of Clatto Hill, between Kettlebridge and Kennoway.

On the southern hillside West Coast Energy wants to put up seven turbines measuring up to 120 metres.

Belliston Quarry is close to Largoward, where businessman Gordon Pay is hoping to build two wind turbines at South Cassingray.

Senior project manager at Wind Energy Direct, Franco Criscuolo, said the proposals had yet to be developed but indicated the Devon Quarry wind farm would be a small one, perhaps with only a couple of turbines.

It was not stated how many turbines may be erected at Belliston Quarry, just north of Arncroach.

Mr Criscuolo said, “We are at the very early stages. Until we get the wind assessments it is difficult to say any more.”

He said he was aware of the potential cumulative impact at Clatto Hill if all three applications there were permitted. But he said Wind Energy Direct’s turbines would be in a less elevated position.

He added, “It is obviously a very windy area, but there is no room for a big wind farm. It would probably be a single or, at the most, two-turbine wind farm. We will know more in about eight or nine months’ time.”

Both sites are owned by Andrew Cook Group, of Leven.

Wind Energy Direct, based in Limerick and with offices in Birmingham, puts turbines on customers’ land and sells electricity to them at a discounted rate. In both cases, the wind masts would be up to 60m high and be in place for up to 15 months.