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Wind farm driven out of bounds to ensure pretty TV pictures at Ryder Cup  

Credit:  By KEVIN O'SULLIVAN, The Scotsman, scotsman.com 16 April 2011 ~~

Plans for a wind farm in rural Perthshire have been blocked after the hosts of the 2014 Ryder Cup warned it could damage the event’s success.

Gleneagles, near Auchterarder, will host the 40th Ryder Cup in 2014 Picture: Getty Images

Proposals for eight turbines, each scaling more than 300 feet, were rejected by Perth and Kinross Council amid concerns the project would have a negative visual impact on the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles in 2014.

Members of the council’s development control committee overwhelmingly rejected West Coast Energy’s plans at a meeting earlier this week.

It emerged last night that Gleneagles sent a letter of objection to the plans. The hotel and golf venue was represented by specialists from the Edinburgh offices of global real estate firm Colliers International.

Associate director Neil Gray stated: “The proposed development risks impacting on the landscape and visual resources of Strathearn, including its effect on the Gleneagles Hotel Historic Garden and Designed Landscape.

“It also carries a significant risk of affecting the economic development and growth of the council’s tourism and leisure sector because of its proximity to Gleneagles, the host of the 2014 Ryder Cup international golf event.”

The committee heard the windmills would have a detriment for viewers watching “television broadcasts” of the Europe versus America golfing spectacle to be held in three years time.

Bill Thomson, 60, chairman of a local campaign group set up to oppose the site, said: “We are very pleased with the outcome of the planning process. Not only did it make no economic sense, but these unsightly turbines would have had a terrible impact on the Ryder Cup when it comes to Scotland.

“The windmills would be situated very close to the course and any the backdrop of the television broadcasts would have meant they were clearly visible.

“When you watch golf on television the cameras quite often pan round the area and you see the views of the area.

“With many golfing tournaments the views often look as though you can be a million miles from anywhere, but these structures would have ruined that backdrop and setting.”

A report by Matthew Hayes, of Welsh-based West Coast Energy, said the wind farm would have helped towards the Scottish Government’s latest targets for renewable energy: “The wind farm will lead to some visual impact.

Source:  By KEVIN O'SULLIVAN, The Scotsman, scotsman.com 16 April 2011

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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