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Company behind plans for 67m wind turbine near Lochgelly say it would be no louder than ‘the noise of leaves rustling in a gentle breeze’

Plans have been submitted for a 67-metre wind turbine on the outskirts of a Fife village.

Edinburgh’s WRS Spittal Limited want to establish the structure on land near Spittal Farm, which lies between Dundonald and Lochgelly.

If approved, it is thought the turbine could generate enough electricity to power around 200 houses, while the developers insist the plans will have little impact in terms of visual amenity and noise.

It is understood WRS Spittal has also signed an agreement with Scottish Water whereby the power generated by the proposed turbine will be used by them – a move both parties claim will help Scottish Water contain price rises for consumers.

The initial plans have already been met with some concern from residents, as the nearest home is only around 500m away from the site, but a spokesman for the developers said they hoped the plans would be viewed favourably and would not go against Fife Council’s planning policies.

“A robust and diligent site selection process has been undertaken and consultant’s findings indicate that Spittal Farm is an appropriate location for medium-small wind turbine development, where in general terms, local plan objectives can be satisfied,” the company said.

“Appropriate plans and photomontages have been prepared to demonstrate the minor scale of the proposal within the landscape. Initial studies indicate that the installation of a single turbine near Spittal Farm will not have a significant adverse impact on visual amenity and will not undermine landscape objectives for the area.

“Taking all of the above policy considerations into account, there is broad support for the development in the development plan and there are no other material considerations that override this.”

The developers also suggested the turbine will be half the height of many turbines commonly found on commercial windfarms, pointing out that the turbine is designed to be of a low visual impact due to its “slender blades and minimal visual bulk”.

“Additionally, the turbine has been located in an area that is not of significant visual or landscape sensitivity,” the spokesman added. “While the turbine will be visible from Lochgelly, Cardenden and Auchterderran and from some local dwellings, these visual impacts are not considered to be prejudicial to the application.”

Citing advice from the British Wind Energy Association, the developers go on to suggest that the sound of a wind turbine generating electricity to houses at least 300m away is likely to be the “same as the noise from a flowing stream about 50-100 metres away or the noise of leaves rustling in a gentle breeze”.

It adds that the selected turbine will be ‘direct drive’ as opposed to ‘geared’ and is therefore quieter.

The proposed wind turbine would have a 500kW generating capacity and consist of a tubular tower with a hub height of 40m and a three-bladed rotor with a diameter of 54m.

It would therefore have an overall height to blade tip of around 67m.