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Stirling asks for careful thought over Denny windfarm  

Credit:  by Kaiya Marjoribanks, Stirling Observer Wednesday, www.stirlingobserver.co.uk 15 February 2012 ~~

Stirling Council is asking their counterparts in Falkirk to think carefully when deciding plans for a 10-turbine windfarm in Denny.

Falkirk Council has consulted the Stirling authority on an application for full planning permission submitted by Community Windpower Ltd (CWL) for 10 turbines on a site west of Rullie Farm.

The proposal also includes access tracks, crane hardstandings, a meteorological mast, on-site control room, substation building and compound, temporary storage construction compound and temporary borrow pits.

Each turbine has a maximum ground to blade tip height of 130 metres and the overall site is around 154 hectares. The turbines will be sited around the Skea Craig ridge west of Rullie Farm.

The site is 2.5km northwest of Denny and 12km northwest of Falkirk, immediately south east of Loch Coulter on the eastern fringes of the Touch/Gargunnock/Fintry Hills. Bannockburn and Stirling are six and 8.5km north respectively.

It is thought that any construction traffic would leave the M9 at the Bannockburn interchange, follow the A872 southbound until the exit at Boards Quarry, then take existing quarry tracks onto the site. The exact route is said to depend on which turbine manufacturer would be used.

A scoping request previously submitted to Stirling Council in September 2009 has originally proposed 13 turbines, however the application now features only the 10 sited within the Falkirk Council boundary and the three within Stirling have been removed.

However, Stirling Council planners have told their Falkirk counterparts that the windfarm could still have a significant impact on the Stirling area, pointing out issues with visual and landscape impact, both as an individual project and in terms of cumultate impact.

In their consultation response, the Stirling officials said: “Stirling Council would request that Falkirk Council takes into account our view that the local landscape character type, including the application site, has very limited scope for windfarms – isolated turbines and/or small and concentrated groups of up to three small turbines.

“We would also ask that any comments from Historic Scotland with respect to the impact of the proposed windfarm on the setting of, and views towards and from, heritage features within Stirling Council area, including Stirling Castle, the Wallace Monument and Bannockburn.

“Given their close proximity, Falkirk Council is also requested to fully consider the direct impact – for example noise, shadow flicker and visual amenity – of the windfarm on various residential properties within Stirling Council’s are to the west and north of the application site, and also take due account of any representation received from local residents.

“They are also asked to consult with Stirling Council’s roads service regarding any aspects of the proposed construction traffic access routes and traffic management that may affect Stirling’s road network.

“With regard to the wider community interests, it should be noted that the Carron Valley and District Community Council have advised us they have formally objected to the windfarm.

“They state they are of the settled view that this is one development too many in an area already awash with windfarms. The objection is supported by a vote taken at a previous community council meeting in November 2010 that there should be no more windfarms in the area, and responses to an earlier questionnaire survey (2009 and preceding the construction at Craigengelt) that demonstrated, of those that voted, 53 per cent had negative views on additional windfarms, and of these 66 per cent voted ‘strongly negative’.”

Source:  by Kaiya Marjoribanks, Stirling Observer Wednesday, www.stirlingobserver.co.uk 15 February 2012

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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