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Friends of the Ochils hit out at windfarm extension plans  

Credit:  by Katy Gordon, Stirling Observer Friday, www.stirlingobserver.co.uk 29 April 2011 ~~

A windfarm in the Ochil Hills could nearly triple in size, as those behind the project have unveiled expansion plans.

Wind Prospect, who built the Burnfoot Hill windfarm, announced that they will be holding a public exhibition in Blackford next month to reveal proposals for adding up to 22 new turbines to the site.

In a newsletter sent to people living with 6km of Burnfoot Hill, the developers stated: “Since obtaining planning consent for the 13 102-metre to tip turbines at Burnfoot Hill windfarm back in 2007, it has become apparent that there is some scope to extend the existing project in both Clackmannanshire, and in to Perth and Kinross.

“In total there are four new potential developments comprising a total of 22 wind turbines. Combined the developments could generate enough electricity in a year to supply over 24,000 homes.”

However, Stuart Dean, chair of Friends of the Ochils, condemned the plans.

He said: “The Friends of the Ochils object totally to any attempt to expand the existing Burnfoot Hill windfarm. The original windfarm should never have received planning permission in the first place and an extension of a further 22 turbines would only add insult to injury.

“It is unacceptable and very cynical for windfarm developers to secure planning permission for a windfarm only to submit further applications for huge extensions once the windfarm has been built.

“The Ochils are a vitally important recreational resource for central Scotland, attracting tens of thousands of visitors a year who enjoy these very accessible and beautiful hills. They also form a stunning backdrop for thousands who live and work in the area.

“Another 22 turbines would turn the Ochils into a windfarm landscape, dominated by turbines. Enough is enough!

“We would encourage all those who love these hills, and who do not want to see the further desecration of the Ochils landscape, to make their views known to the developers at the public exhibitions in Tillicoultry and Blackford, and to make their elected representatives in both Clackmannanshire and Perth and Kinross Councils, and the Scottish and UK Parliaments, aware of just how much they oppose Wind Prospect’s proposals.”

The newsletter also outlines some of the studies being carried out into the proposed extension, including visibility and landscape impact surveys, particularly from the A83 Glendevon road and Ben Cleuch; wildlife studies, including ecosystem impacts and bird assessments; and noise.

The developers also estimate that work would be completed in a year and “would be expertly managed to minimise disturbance”. The windfarm would be accessed through existing roads.

Source:  by Katy Gordon, Stirling Observer Friday, www.stirlingobserver.co.uk 29 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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