A developer behind a multi-million-pound golf course in St Andrews has claimed six wind turbines proposed for the fringes of the town would be the source of “immense and regrettable embarrassment”.
Tayside businessman Ewan McKay, who is leading the long-running proposals for a £20 million golf development at Feddinch, claimed the small wind farm would be “disastrous” for the local economy, and membership of its “luxurious” clubhouse could diminish given that many of its suites will have a view of the site.
In a letter to Fife Council’s planning committee, Mr McKay added: “We are convinced that people throughout the world will stare in disbelief when the Open Championship returns to St Andrews in 2015 and the camera takes into picture the wind turbines. This may be a source of immense and regrettable embarrassment for a long, long time.”
The wind turbines have been proposed by St Andrews University to generate carbon-free electricity for the institution.
The latest opposition comes following criticisms raised by the Old Course Hotel which said the turbines would have a “detrimental visual impact”.
Scottish Natural Heritage said the proposed turbines, which would sit on a farm near Kenly, would detract from the “nationally important medieval skyline of St Andrews”.
The Feddinch golf development has been under discussion for more than five years, with conflicts over work on site and adherence to various planning conditions and consents.
Roddy Yarr, environment and energy manager at St Andrews University, said: “Our first wish is that we are doing this to supply renewable energy to the university and to channel it into the university building.
“The focus of the Open Championship is the Old Course, the fairways and the west sands and not about the agricultural land where we are proposing the turbines.
“The university has been custodian of the built environment for 600 years and of course that doesn’t give us the right to carry out developments that will damage that built environment
“However, I feel we have as much right to come up with a sustainable renewable energy plan as people have to develop a golf course.”
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