The home of golf could lose its appeal if plans for a windfarm on the outskirts of St Andrews are given the go-ahead.
That is the view of one of Scotland’s top hotels, which fears the proposal by St Andrews University could threaten the town’s growth as well as the wider Fife economy.
The Old Course Hotel has lodged a formal objection to the planning application, warning the six 100m turbines would have ”detrimental visual and economic impacts” on areas used by visitors.
Consultants Colliers International, which submitted the letter on the hotel’s behalf, has also dismissed the university’s claim that the impact on tourism would be negligible.
Scotland’s oldest university hopes to create the 12 megawatt windfarm at Kenly Farm near Boarhills in a bid to protect itself against spiralling energy costs.
Rising national and international costs have seen its bills triple since 2005 to £5.4m a year – the equivalent of 120 full-time staff.
Although a survey for the university found favour among a significant proportion of the public, the application led to the creation of the Kenly Landscape Protection Group (KLPG) and the Stop the University Windfarm Facebook group.
The latest in a line of objectors, the Old Course Hotel claimed the multi-million pound redevelopment of Hamilton Hall into 26 private residences linked to the Old Course resort would be compromised because the turbines would be clearly visible from the upper floors and rooftop terrace.
According to Colliers, the windfarm is incompatible ”with the Scottish Government and Fife Council’s objectives for continued successful growth of the tourism economy in St Andrews and Fife.”
”This is because the impression that may be taken by visitors to the town and its facilities will not be what was expected or anticipated by them, in terms of their currently being able to enjoy views of an unspoilt landscape, which provides the setting to the historical town and its attractions such as the golf courses.”
A spokesman for Kenly Landscape Protection Group said: ”The Old Course Hotel shares our concern about cumulative impacts of turbines in east Fife.”
Tom Burns of the Facebook group added: ”The industrial scale of the windfarm will permanently damage the landscape and unique setting of St Andrews for everyone, resident and visitor alike.
”We’ve already seen the effect on confidence and jobs that windfarm proposals can have in Aberdeenshire where Donald Trump has halted work on his new golf resort. He’s convinced a view of massive turbines is a disaster for a luxury golf resort.”
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