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Monitoring station prelude to windfarm over village  

Credit:  By Sandra Gray, The Courier, 8 October 2011 ~~

The threat of a windfarm is looming Perthshire.

The suitability of a site overlooking the village of Butterstone is being analysed for an unspecified number of turbines.

Renewable energy firm Ecotricity is hoping to build an 80m meteorological mast below Benachally for 18 months.

A spokesman from the Gloucestershire firm said: “On the basis of a wide range of environmental and technical criteria, Ecotricity has identified a location at Dulater Hill, near Butterstone, as a potentially suitable place for wind energy.

“The next stage is to monitor actual wind speeds at height on the site, which will provide information on wind speed and direction, and to do this Ecotricity has submitted a planning application for an 80-metre temporary meteorological monitoring mast.

“We wrote to 270 properties in the area in September to inform them of this initial step.

“Our ongoing investigations will help inform the details of any proposal . . .

“We would hold open days to consult local people, providing further information, answering any questions and finding out local views.

“We’ll inform people about these in advance by letter and through adverts in the local press.”

If this research concludes Dulater Hill is suitable for a windfarm and it becomes a reality, this would be the third such development within the area between Dunkeld and Aberfeldy.

The controversial Griffin and Calliacher windfarms are already either under construction or have been approved, much to the consternation of many residents of Strathtay and Highland Perthshire.

In addition, the Beauly to Denny powerline will pass through around 100 kilometres of Perthshire countryside at Rannoch, Kenmore, Aberfeldy and Amulree, with locals now left feeling the surrounding landscape will be blighted by pylons measuring up to 60m, as well as numerous turbines.

Leading wildlife conservation charity, the John Muir Trust told The Courier that it has “serious concerns” about the impact of these structures.

Head of policy Helen McDade said: “Until a formal planning application is made, it is difficult to know exactly what the impact on the landscape would be, but the John Muir Trust would look closely at a wind development below Benachally if it came forward.

“This site overlaps with the River Tay (Dunkeld) National Scenic Area, so any development would need to be carefully considered by Scottish Natural Heritage.

“We have serious concerns about the cumulative impact of large wind turbines in Highland Perthshire.

“Without limits to development, there is a danger that the area will lose its reputation for beautiful natural landscapes.”

Source:  By Sandra Gray, The Courier, 8 October 2011

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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