The bid to build an eight-turbine windfarm between Auchterarder and Muthill has failed, it was confirmed this week.
The controversial Standingfauld windfarm, which attracted hundreds of letters of support and objection – including representations by five community councils, Gleneagles Hotel and the developers behind the G West project – was given the final thumbs down by the Scottish Government last week.
West Coast Energy had sought to reverse Perth and Kinross Council’s decision not to approve their planning application.
However, the Scottish Government planning reporter upheld the local authority’s ruling.
In his overall conclusion, reporter Dan Jackman stated: “I therefore agree with the council that the proposal would have an adverse impact on the landscape character and visual amenities of the area.
“Overall, I find the proposal to be contrary to the provisions of the development plan and Scottish planning policy in relation to windfarm development. I find no material considerations that should outweigh the provisions of the development plan in this instance.”
Bill Thomson, of the Standingfauld Environmental Action Group, welcomed the news.
He said: “It’s absolutely right and proper that PKC’s earlier rejection of the proposal has been upheld. Clearly the local community who have fought long and hard against this inappropriately sited proposal are delighted and hugely relieved at this outcome.
“As chairman of SEAG I would like to thank publicly all those in the community, the Gleneagles Hotel, G West and many others who supported the campaign over a very long stressful and expensive two years.”
Strathallan ward councillor Murray Lyle also agreed that the reporter reached the right conclusion.
He said: “I seconded the council’s motion to refuse the project when it came before the development control committee, so I welcome the reporter’s decision.
“The reasons were that they were too big, particularly in a lowland setting.
“I also thought that it was going to affect Gleneagles Hotel, which is one of the biggest employers in the area.”
Murray added that the decision was a landmark for Perth and Kinross Council.
“This is one of the few appeals for windfarms that the council has won and it shows that the government realises that there are unacceptable windfarm applications.
West Coast Energy can still contest how the Reporter came to his decision by requesting a judicial review at the Court of Session, however a spokesperson for the company said: “We are naturally disappointed with the reporter’s decision but respect the decision.”
See the letters page for Bill Thomson’s full response to the news.