People anxious about huge turbines on a Fife hill may have to wait until next summer to find out whether the structures will be built.
Fife Council’s deadline for determining a planning application for seven 120-metre turbines on Clatto Hill has been extended until June.
The local authority is also hoping to negotiate the same time frame for a further three 100-metre turbines.
Wind power firm West Coast Energy, which is behind the larger turbines, has agreed to an extension and discussions are continuing with Green Cat Renewables, agents for farmer Douglas Rennie, on a similar extension.
The projects – the former for the southern hillside and the latter for the western slopes – are separate but the council hopes they will be considered for planning permission at the same time.
Campaigners against the schemes, Clatto Landscape Protection Group, have accepted the need for extra time to properly consider the implications but chairman Greg Brown said it would also mean more worry for those who live nearby and those who use the hillside for leisure and are opposed to the proposals.
He said, “We think the council should take enough time to do the job properly and if they need a little bit more, fair enough.
“For all the people who don’t want this to happen, it’s a horrible prospect not knowing if the wind farm is going to be approved.
“Hopefully, it won’t take any longer than it really needs – it is has been more than six months already.
“Every time you think about it, and we do a lot, you get this horrible feeling in your gut.
“There’s a disbelief that this is even being contemplated, never mind that it is a real prospect.”
This is the second time CLPG has fought against a wind farm being created on the hill between Kennoway and Kettle.
Scottish Power wanted to exploit the hill’s wind resource but later ditched its plan for 17 turbines.
Council planner Chris Smith explained that the planning process was taking longer as some organisations which must be consulted over such proposals had requested more information than had been provided by the developers.
He said, “Due to the sensitivity of the area, we, they and the applicants themselves want to make sure that every ‘T’ is crossed and every ‘I’ dotted so that these proposals are given full consideration.”
While he said Green Cat Renewables was yet to agree to the extension, it was still hoped that both schemes could be presented to councillors for a decision at the same time.
He said, “They have the same key issues, given they are a similar type of development in the same location.”
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