Plans for a windfarm at Standingfauld near Muthill are set to be rejected by council planners.
The application, submitted by West Coast Energy, has been earmarked for refusal by Perth and Kinross, ahead of it being heard at the Development Control committee next week.
The eight turbine windfarm, which would see structures up to 100m high built – as well as a road entrance, access tracks, a mast and substation – caused controversy in Strathearn, with locals divided in their stances.
Nearly 500 letters, either of objection or support, were received for the plans.
Supporters argued that there would be economic benefits to the local area, environmental benefits of generating power through wind, acceptable visual impact and that it was in line with Scottish Government climate change targets.
Objectors, meanwhile, felt that the application would be detrimental to tourism and local business (including the nearby Gleneagles Hotel and GWest resort), it would be detrimental to wildlife, health implications and visual impact.
Four community councils – East Strathearn, Auchterarder and District, Muthill and Tullibardine, and Braco and Greenloaning voiced the opposition to the application, with Blackford neither supporting nor objecting.
Scottish Natural Heritage also objected, on grounds of adverse landscape and visual impacts. They stated that: “Strathearn has a distinctive landscape at a regional scale” that contributes to the national distinctiveness of Scotland’s landscape.
Consultants David Tyldesley Associates, who were brought in by PKC to assess the Environment Statement, concluded that homes up to 10km away from the windfarm would be able to see it including Crieff, Aberuthven, Greenloaning and Auchterarder.
The document, compiled ahead of Wednesday’s meeting, determined that the application was considered “contrary to the development plan due to an unacceptable impact on landscape quality and visual amenity”.
The conclusion stated: “It is clear that the primary intention of both the development plan and national policies is to direct wind farm developments to sites where they will not have a significant adverse impact on landscape character or the visual amenity of an area. For the reasons set out in this report it is considered that there would be a significant landscape harm arising from the siting of this proposal within Strathearn.”
It continued: “In this instance it is considered that the energy contribution of the eight turbines would not outweigh the significant adverse effects on local environmental quality.”
The Development Control committee will meet on Wednesday morning at the council buildings.
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