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Worries about scale of proposals for Kinnettles site

Kinnettles Hill could be the site of a four-turbine wind farm by 2015 should planning permission be granted.

Enertrag, a renewable energy company with offices in Brechin and Dunfermline, has identified the land to the east of Douglastown as a potentially suitable site for the wind farm and is looking to develop the site in partnership with the local landowners, Euan and Susie Walker-Munro.

Although the company say that the project is in the early stages, locals have already voiced some concerns over the proximity of the turbines to the neighbouring community.

Neil Lindsay, managing director, of Enertrag is optimistic that the development will be beneficial to the local area. He said: “If consented the Berrymuir Wind Farm has the potential to generate up to 12 MW of clean electricity, which could power around 5,000 homes which is the equivalent of over 90% of houses in Forfar.

“There will be opportunities to utilise the skills present in the local area during the construction, operation and decommissioning of the wind farm and in our two Scottish offices.

“In addition we will pay an agreed, annual charitable donation into a Community Development Trust Fund during the operational life of the wind farm. These funds would be allocated by local people to benefit local projects and organisations in the vicinity of the wind farm.

“We look forward to building strong, positive relationships over the coming months and years.”

But a local man, who wished to remain anonymous, is concerned at the proximity the wind farm will have to homes in the area.

He said: “The turbines will be about 125 metres high and there will be four of them on the hill.

“They will be 500 yards away from my own home and there are people who live even closer.

“They [Enertrag] said that sound-wise it won’t be any louder than the noise from the dual carriageway but I doubt that.

“It was a courtesy of them to say that this was about to happen and planning permission will be lodged but the actual scale of it seems to be a bit out of order.”

Carolynne Sutherland, project manager for the wind farm said: “We believe engaging with the communities that neighbour our projects is an important part of the development process so we were very pleased that more than 40 people came along to our presentation.

“In particular, we appreciated the individual discussions that took place in which valuable and legitimate issues were raised by local people.

“This type of engagement affords us the chance to respond through meetings, exhibitions and by feasible adjustments to the project.”

Ms Sutherland confirmed that there is still a long way to go before the development gets underway. She said: “The project is at a very early stage, and an application to erect a temporary meteorological monitoring mast, to measure wind speeds on the site, will be made to Angus Council this month.

“Environmental surveys will be undertaken to look at all aspects of the wildlife, heritage and landscape aspects of the project. This information is necessary to ensure that the wind farm would make a valuable contribution towards meeting Scotland’s renewable energy targets and fulfilling our commitments to reduce emission of harmful greenhouse gasses.”

Euan Walker Munro, local farmer and landowner said: “We have chosen to partner with Enertrag because of their considerable experience in the renewable energy sector, they are locally based and because they shared our commitment to being open about our plans from the outset.”