Protection of bird life and archaeological sites near Callander should be among the priorities of environmental assessments carried out as part of wind turbine proposals.
A pair of wind turbines are being proposed by Arcus Renewables for a site at Cambusmore Estate.
The applicants have asked for Environmental Impact Assessment “screening opinions” – seeking views as to which issues consultees might expect them to address before submitting a formal planning application.
The development would involve two 50m high (to blade tip) wind turbines at East Brackland (Easter Bracklinn) and/or a development of two 50m high turbines at Loch Rusky.
Arcus asked Stirling Council whether the proposals should be subject to an Environmental Impact Assessment, rather than any planning applications resulting being supported by more limited environmental statements or appraisals.
Council planners said: “The proposal at East Brackland is close to an extensive area with many recorded sites of archaeological interest, some of which are scheduled monuments.
“The site also lies within an area characterised as having high sensitivity to wind farm development because of its ornithological interest. Surface water drainage from the site or ancillary works could impinge on burns tributary to the River Teith Special Area of Conservation. The Loch Rusky site shares the ornithological sensitivity.
“In terms of the council’s adopted locational policy for wind turbines, the sites fall well within (East Brackland) and just within (Loch Rusky) an ‘Area of Significant Protection’. Both sites are close to the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park.
“There are therefore a number of environmental sensitivities associated with the sites. However, in view of the relatively modest scale of the proposals and their avoidance of specific conservation designations, it is considered that full EIA is not required.
“Arcus have indicated willingness to assess and submit environmental appraisals covering an extensive range of potential impacts, and these include all the subject areas noted, and additional factors.
“The council will not, therefore, require submission of EIAs should these proposals proceed. The environmental appraisals should make particular reference to the landscape and visual impacts of the proposed turbines and the cumulative impact with existing turbines and others proposed in the area.
“For the East Brackland proposal the potential impacts on the River Teith SAC from drainage, the direct and visual impacts on the historic heritage, and the ornithological interest in the area, should be particularly examined.
“At Loch Ruskey the ornithological interest should be investigated and any potential adverse impacts assessed.”
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