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Campaigner vows to fight new Abercairney Estates windfarm plan

Perthshire’s latest windfarm development applicants have ignored “local and national democratic decisions” by returning to planners with a revised scheme, according to a longstanding objector.

Maureen Beaumont took her case against the Abercairney windfarm by Crieff all the way to a public inquiry in 2005.

That 24-turbine scheme at the mouth of the Sma’ Glen tourist route was eventually defeated. But landowner Abercairney Estate and the developers, Force 9 Energy, have returned with a nine-turbine proposal nearby.

They say the new plan, called the Mull Hill windfarm, will be less intrusive and could provide 22.5 megawatts of energy per year.

It remains at an early stage with an application to site a weather monitoring mast in the area recently submitted with a scoping report.

Perth and Kinross Council opposed the previous application and Mrs Beaumont, who runs a golf course and holiday lets on the A822 between Crieff and Dunkeld, hopes it will also be against the new one.

She said: “I’m determinedly of the same mind and I would hope to be objecting as strongly as last time.

“I always feared they could come back again but I’m disappointed that local and national democratic decisions have not been respected.

“It’s not really in a very different place – it’s still going to overlook the tourist route.

“We’ve got massive windfarms going up all over the place, and the Beauly to Denny line as well.

“In view of everything else happening in Highland Perthshire we’re getting to saturation point in terms of electricity-related developments.”

She said the proliferation of windfarms and pylons will soon begin to turn tourists away.

“It’s not going to help it because people come to the countryside to enjoy the countryside, not to be overlooked by massive industrial structures.

“I feel this overdevelopment of turbines and pylons is changing the landscape so dramatically. It’s no longer a rural but an urban landscape.”

The developers say the Mull Hill complex will come with a community fund which could put more than £1.1 million back into the community over the project’s 25-year life.

Meanwhile, it has emerged the developers of the 13-turbine Burnfoot Hill windfarm in the Ochils, Wind Prospect, want to build 18 more turbines in the area.