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Flight concerns at centre of Largoward wind turbines refusal

A Cupar businessman’s proposal for two 100m wind turbines has been thrown out by Fife councillors.

Gordon Pay hoped to erect the turbines at South Cassingray Farm, Largoward, but the proposal was rejected during Thursday’s full Fife Council meeting on the grounds of insufficient information submitted and defence interests at RAF Leuchars.

Members of north-east Fife area committee were excluded from considering the item as they had already voiced strong opposition in a submission to the Department of Planning and Environmental Appeals (DPEA).

Mr Pay appealed to the DPEA after the council failed to determine the application within the required timescale. However, his appeal was considered not valid by the DPEA because he did not lodge it in time.

The council’s planning department said insufficient information had been submitted in relation to the proposal’s potential impact on visual and residential amenity, and wildlife.

Development manager Jim Birrell said: ”There was adequate opportunity for the information to be collated and there is a clear lack of information.

”This is a relatively simple, straight forward application before the committee but we are nevertheless not in a position to complete an assessment because of lack of information.”

Council leader Peter Grant said the authority had a ”very strong case” against any subsequent appeal lodged by Mr Pay.

The planner’s report said the proposal would have a ”significant and detrimental operational impact” on the MoD’s air traffic control radars at RAF Leuchars.

It said: ”The resultant desensitisation of the radar could result in aircraft not being detected and therefore not presented to air traffic controllers, which may have a significant and detrimental operational impact and put air safety at risk.”

Scottish Natural Heritage objected on the grounds that Mr Pay had presented insufficient evidence that irreversible damage to protected species of geese, peregrine falcons and bats would be avoided.

Largoward and District Community Council objected after a survey found 78.5% of locals were against it.

It was concerned the structures would be a visual intrusion in the Cameron area, incompatible with the rural landscape and detrimental to residential amenity and tourism.

Fifty-six objections were received by the council.