Auchterarder will be surrounded by windfarms if plans being discussed go ahead, the community council has warned.
Concerns were raised at the latest meeting of the Auchterarder and District Community Council over plans to increase the number of wind turbines in the area, including the proposed extension of the Burnfoot Hill windfarm, the rumoured expansion of Greenknowes and plans to create a 10-turbine installation at the Gask Ridge.
Chairman Michael Benton explained that he and other community councillors had been approached by locals worried that the Lang Toon would be overrun by wind turbines.
He said: “Some people feel we are going to be surrounded by windfarms, and already feel that they are looming over them, and some people are incensed that there are discussions about putting a windfarm at the Gask Ridge.”
Michael continued: “The people in Glendevon are feeling a bit henpecked, with the quarry and the windfarms. They can hear the turbines on both sides, which some people find intrusive.
“The problem is the Scottish Government is obviously pushing this, which makes it difficult to stop.
“We wouldn’t mind windfarms if they were 100 per cent efficient,” he added, “but the numbers show it is below 25 per cent.”
The ADCC chairman added that the organisation was happy that the proposed Standingfauld windfarm was rejected by Perth and Kinross Council’s development control committee.
Michael confirmed that the community council would be objecting to the Gask Ridge plans when they are formally submitted to PKC on the grounds that the turbines would “spoil the views of a special heritage site” and that it may impact on nesting ospreys nearby.
Another issue that the ADCC are investigating is the percentage of revenue generated by the windfarms that the community receives.
“People have also done calculations, which seem to show that communities who receive money are getting only a small fraction of what is generated. For example, at one windfarm, one turbine would only need to turn for a day to cover the cost of the community contribution, and one turbine turning for a month would pay the farmers for use of the land.
“If the community is getting a raw deal, that is definitely something that the community council will take up.”
The Antonine Guard, a historic charity who work both as a historical society and reenactment group, has also come out against the Gask Ridge ideas.
Secretary Ron Greer explained: “The landowner seems to have dipped his toe in the water with this proposal. But our reaction is that it is very hot water!
“This is a major piece of Roman archaeology on a worldwide scale – what the Romans learned through building in Perthshire they took to the rest of the world. It is also the oldest of Roman sites.
“We will not compromise on this one iota and we feel that the whole of the Gask Ridge needs to be secured as a national monument and protected from bit by bit desecration.”
Ron added that the proposed location of the turbines would be near the Muir o’Fauld signal station and remains, which is scheduled by Historic Scotland.
“The Gask Ridge needs secondary classification tied up and a buffer zone that would knock plans like these on the head. The main thing is to protect the site.”
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