Proposals by a Welsh-based energy company to create a windfarm in the countryside near St Andrews are set to run into stiff opposition.
West Coast Energy unveiled the controversial plans for the Lingo windfarm – on farmland north of the B940 between Largoward and Dunino – to an invited audience of representatives of local community councils and elected members of Fife Council.
The project, which would have an installed capacity of 12.5MW consisting of five 100-metre high turbines, with an individual blade length of 40 metres, has been earmarked for land on a line running west to east at Lingo and South Kinaldy Farms.
However, there has been immediate opposition to the project and a local group has been formed from the rural community to contest the application, amid claims that it would have a devastating effect on the area.
A spokesman for Stop Turbines at Cameron, Kinaldy – STACK – said that the developer was seeking to impose a windfarm on an area where there waas no support for such a scale of development.
He told the Citizen yesterday (Thursday): ”The rural community near to the site and beyond has the prospect of their residential and visual amenity being degraded and their greatest asset, their property, being devalued as the 2km separation, advised by Government, is ignored.”
As an example of how the turbines could look from one property severely impacted, the group has prepared an image (pictured above) showing the turbines in approximate positions to scale relative to the “met mast” of 60 metres in height and at a distance of 900 metres from one of the nearest properties.
The spokesman continued: ”How can the developer mitigate this impact? Residents of this property, with extensive gardens visited by many groups, are deeply concerned at the prospect of continuous modulated noise from the turbines, especially at night, and the resulting sleep disturbance and the inevitable damage to health that this causes.”
He explained that only days ago, the Achany Wind Farm at Rosehall in Sutherland – operated by Scottish and Southern Electricity – was closed down by Highland Council following numerous complaints about noise levels after the company failed to fit mitigation devices to the blades and to measure noise levels at two affected properties, one of which was 2km from the turbines.
The spokesman concluded: ”This has been a costly lesson for the developer and residents which could have been avoided. The area within 2km of the proposed Lingo wind farm turbines has a much higher population than that around Achany so more people could be affected.”
The company states it has has an excellent track record in delivering windfarm projects in the Kingdom and project manager for the development, Jonathan Cawley, said: ”I welcomed the opportunity to provide more details on the proposals for Lingo. It provided the community with an opportunity to ask questions about the scheme, and learn more about the proposals for a community benefit fund.
”The Lingo site benefits from a high wind resource making it ideally placed for a five-turbine scheme. We aim to deliver a small, high quality windfarm development with a focus on community involvement.
‘‘As with all our windfarm developments, we will be looking to create a purposeful and effective dialogue with the local community at an early stage in the proceedings in order that their views are taken into account as the proposals move forward.”
A spokesperson for the company added: ‘‘At our forthcoming public exhibitions, the dates of which will be available shortly, we intend to display a range of material that will show the windfarm from a number of agreed viewpoints, both in the immediate locality and across north east Fife, which will include several accurate photo montages of the site.’’
We would like to encourage all members of the public to come to our exhibitions to see these, and receive full and accurate information on the proposed site. We look forward to responding to any queries members of the public may have.”