Clacks campaigners have slammed a ‘cynical’ move to more than double the size of a wind farm in the Ochils.
Developer Wind Prospect revealed its hope to expand the Burnfoot Hill site by a potential 22 turbines last week. Around 13,100m tall, turbines already stand on the site, completed in August last year.
Although the exact scale of any expansion is yet to be decided, the Edinburgh-based renewables firm will liaise with the two local authorities affected by the plan – Clackmannanshire and Perth and Kinross – Scottish Natural Heritage and a number of community councils on both sides of the hills.
But any expansion is likely to meet fierce opposition from affected communities, as was the case in 2007 when the initial Burnfoot Hill planning application was lodged.
Voluntary conservation group Friends of the Ochils has already condemned the prospect of expansion, believing the wind farm should never have been built in the first place.
The group plans to oppose any application, which it sees as posing too great a risk to one of Central Scotland’s ‘most valuable’ tourist attractions.
Chairman Stuart Dean told the Wee County News: “It is unacceptable and very cynical for wind farm developers to secure planning permission for a wind farm only to submit further applications for huge extensions once the wind farm has been built.
“The original wind farm should never have received planning permission in the first place, sited as it is in the Ochil Hills Clackmannanshire Area of Great Landscape Beauty Value (AGLV) and an extension of a further 22 turbines would only add insult to injury. Furthermore an extension of the Burnfoot Hill Wind Farm would make a mockery of the Ochils Landscape Partnership which is aimed at enhancing the landscape of the Ochils, not further damaging it.”
Wind Prospect has not lodged a formal planning application, but has identified a site which could accommodate 22 turbines.
However, technical and environmental assessments need to be carried out before the proposal can proceed. A public exhibition in the Tillicoultry Community Centre on Tuesday May 17 between 3.30pm and 7pm.
A newsletter will also be sent out to 5500 homes within 6km of the site.
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