Communities affected by plans for wind turbines on a prominent site in Fife have called on council officials to assess the likely visual impact.
The Clatto Landscape Protection Group (CLPG) believe important issues relating to applications for sites on Clatto Hill need to be resolved and have now written to Fife Council.
The group were not impressed last week when the developers, West Coast Energy, said they planned to remove two turbines from their seven-turbine scheme earmarked for Devon Wood and reduce the turbine heights from 121 to 115 metres, suggesting the move was only prompted by discussions with council planning officials.
Those proposals, alongside a scheme submitted by Green Cat Renewables for three turbines on an adjacent site on Clatto Hill, are expected to come before councillors next month.
After considering a formal complaint lodged by a Ceres resident, Graham Lang, about the visual impact of the proposed windfarm at Earlseat on the outskirts of Kirkcaldy, planners have agreed to ensure a separate assessment of the visual impact on local people in future application assessments is carried out.
”It is not clear, however, that this basic requirement of windfarm planning assessments will be done for the two Clatto applications,” Greg Brown, chairman of the CLPG, told The Courier.
Mr Brown said the group is seeking an assurance that a distinct assessment on the visual impact of the Clatto developments will be carried out.
The group’s concerns do not rest there, though, and Mr Brown is calling for a full assessment of what impact the proposed Clatto developments could have on motorists travelling through the area. It is understood a promised assessment of potential driver distraction problems has not yet been made available to the group, although its members are keen to see its findings.
”Almost 18 months ago, our group submitted evidence of significant driver distraction problems to the council and asked for an investigation,” he added.
”That request sat on file with no action taken. After press and TV coverage of the problem last October the council stated that an assessment of driver distraction would be done, but it appears not to have happened. It’s time for an end to the eerie official silence on this important issue.”
On West Coast Energy’s announcement, Mr Brown said the group would oppose any tactic that might see the changes appear as possible planning conditions imposed on their original application.
”We have taken legal advice about this and know this to be unlawful,” Mr Brown concluded.
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