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Turbine prediction becomes reality

Predictions of a growing number of proposals for single wind turbines appear to be becoming a reality.

Intelligent Land Investments recently submitted planning applications for four sites.

They include: a single turbine of up to 76 metres high on land 560 metres north of Munnieston Farm, Doune, and one of a similar height at land around 750 metres south of Kepculloch Farm house, Buchlyvie.

The company is also seeking permission for a turbine with a maximum height of 76 metres around 900 metres south west of Gowstone Farm, Buchlyvie, plus another of the same dimensions 390 metres north of Gribloch Farm, Glinns Road, Kippen.

Four applications were also recently submitted through agents Energy Mechanics Ltd.

Energy Merchants (Boquhapple) Ltd want permission for upgrading an access road, crane hardstanding, transformer housing, transformer housing base and a single 50 metre high wind turbine at Braes of Boquhapple Farm, Thornhill.

Droineach Ltd also want permission for a 50 metre high turbine at the same farm, as do Baile A’ Phuill and Thornhill Community Trust.

In March hundreds of concerned villagers turned up to a public meeting in Thornhill to hear plans for 45-metre turbines. Intelligent Land Investments want to put up two turbines on land north-east of West Murdieston on Ballinton Road, and the company had submitted a second application to Stirling Council for a further two turbines at Cuptree Farm land on a site 2km east of Thornhill.

Some concerned locals say they are not against renewable energy, windfarms or the farming community but want any single wind turbines being sited sensitively.

But companies behind the turbines say that landowners will benefit and that the National Farmers Union are very pro because of the opportunity to allow hundreds of farmers to make some money for the next 20 years.

Stirling Council, however, recently discussed the issue of the growing number of applications for one or two-turbine projects.

Officials had said the issue was one which needed more work and there was more guidance expected to come from the Scottish Government.

They added, however, that it would be ultimately down to judgement and the council’s planning panel would exercise that judgement on the advice of officers.

The so-called “wind rush” of companies approaching landowners to create small scale turbine developments has been mainly sparked by the introduction of “Feed in Tariffs” last year by the Scottish Government. Aimed at encouraging renewable energy projects, the tariffs offer landowners and developers a chance to make an assured and considerable return by such projects on their land for the next 20 years.

However, to take advantage of the tariffs, turbines must be commissioned by March 31, 2013, creating an urgency to see the applications dealt with.