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Only nine turbines ever on Mull Hill site, developers claim  

Credit:  by Katy Gordon, Strathearn Herald, icperthshire.icnetwork.co.uk 24 February 2012 ~~

There will be no more than nine turbines ever built on Mull Hill, it was announced this week.

Developers Force 9 Energy and landowners Abercairny Estate released a statement this week “guaranteeing” that only the planned nine turbines that make up the Mull Hill wind farm will be put on the site.

The collaborators claimed the move came after last week’s meeting, hosted by East Strathearn Community Council, to discuss the planning application. Future expansion of the wind farm was raised during the meeting, and the Herald has been contacted by many people, citing the same concern.

Bill Drummond Moray, of Abercairny Estate, said: “We have listened carefully to feedback received, much of it supportive of our proposals, and whilst any potential expansion is not practically feasible, this does appear to be a concern locally so I am making this public undertaking.”

Andrew Smith, development manager at Force 9 Energy, explained: “It is important to understand that the physical and environmental constraints on the land at Mull Hill make it impossible to accommodate any more wind turbines.

“The Reporter’s decision from the previous Abercairny wind farm decision set clear precedents, which we have strenuously followed in preparing the Mull Hill application.

“To ensure that the proposal for Mull Hill is robust, Force 9 Energy has addressed important points that arose from the previous Abercairny wind farm decision. The Mull Hill proposal would not be seen from within the Highland landscape character area, does not step up and across different landscape areas and it is substantially screened in views from much of Strathearn by the Knock of Crieff.

“Taking these issues into account, alongside the physical constraints of the land at Mull Hill, any potential future expansion is not feasible.

“We welcome this undertaking by the Abercairny Estate, who are doing much more than is usually required to address this concern.”

However, head of the Sma’ Glen Protection Group 2, the group revived to fight against the wind farm, Maureen Beaumont, told the Herald the announcement didn’t go far enough.

She said: “The developer was repeatedly pressed on this point at the public meeting at Fowlis Wester to give a legally binding agreement – he refused.

“The developer will have no control over this project after the planning process is complete: he can therefore guarantee nothing. Regarding the estate – Mr D Parker assured me that Mull Hill could not accommodate more than nine turbines – he did not rule out anywhere else on Abercairny and a large part of the site is on the south side of the A822.

“This site is and always has been an inappropriate one – the Scottish ministers are on record as saying they will not consent inappropriate sites – there are lots of applications in the system without them.

“Even if you are as green as green can be, you have to admit that this is a bad application in the wrong place and being made for the wrong reasons. It was thrown out before and it will be again, if there’s any democracy in Scotland!”

For more information about the project, visit www.mullhillwindfarm.com, email info@mullhillwindfarm.com or telephone the project information line during office hours on 0800 169 5290. The full planning application can be viewed on the Perth and Kinross Council website at www.pkc.gov.uk or at their Pullar House office in Perth.

Source:  by Katy Gordon, Strathearn Herald, icperthshire.icnetwork.co.uk 24 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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