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Concern over Menstrie turbine  

Credit:  by Kaiya Marjoribanks, Stirling Observer Wednesday, www.stirlingobserver.co.uk 13 October 2010 ~~

Concerns are being expressed over plans for a 63 metre high wind turbine near Menstrie.

Stirling Council has been consulted over a planning application for the turbine, which would be just within the Clackmannshire Council area at Girnal Farm, around 3km east of the Wallace Monument.

The proposed turbine has a hub height of 49 metres and two blades, with a combined diameter of 30 metres. The maximum height from ground to blade tip is around 63 metres.

Stirling Council planners, however, say their main concerns are with the potential effects on visual amenity and the landscape, including potential cumulative effects with other proposals for tall structures in the same local area.

They added: “However, properties at Gogar Mains are approximately 500 metres from the turbine and a small number of other residential and commercial properties in the Stirling area are within one kilometre, and it is important that the potential effects of noise have been properly identified and assessed.”

The planners add that the turbine would be “considerably larger in scale” than “farm-scale” machines (less than 25 metres) which have recently7 been approved or are under consideration at a number of locations within Stirling Council area.

They also say having only two blades rather than the more usual three would be likely to create visual confusion, plus the movement of two-bladed turbines are generally perceived to be more erratic.

“The height of the moving turbine is also likely to detract from some views to the Ochil escarpment and the Wallace Monument.”

The planners say Clackmannanshire Council should be advised that while Stirling Council does not formally object to the planning application, it is concerned that a “proper evaluation of the potential impacts of the proposal has not been presented to Clackmannanshire Council to assist in their assessment”

They also say that a smaller, three-blade turbine not exceeding 25 metres, even were there to be more than one, who not raise the same concerns, and should the Clackmannanshire authority be minded to approve a medium-large turbine in this location, use of an appropriately designed three-blade machine is “strongly recommended”.

Assurances are also to be sought that any potential noise impacts on properties within the Stirling Council area have been included in Clackmannanshire Council environmental health department’s assessment of the application.

Source:  by Kaiya Marjoribanks, Stirling Observer Wednesday, www.stirlingobserver.co.uk 13 October 2010

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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