A decision by Inverclyde Council refusing permission for a 200-foot high wind turbine in countryside between Kilmacolm and Port Glasgow has been overturned on appeal.
The turbine is proposed for High Mathernock Farm, Auchentiber Road. The mast will be about 150-feet high but, with the blade, the whole structure will be 200-feet high.
In September, councillors on Inverclyde Planning Board refused permission, agreeing with planning officials who had opposed the turbine saying it would be an “excessively prominent feature” in that part of the Inverclyde countryside.
But the applicant has now sucessessfully appealed against the decision. Planning expert Trevor Croft was appointed by the Scottish Government to consider the appeal. In his decision letter, he said: “I conclude that any adverse impacts would not be significant enough to justify refusal.”
He continues: “Other than from parts of the southern edge of Port Glasgow, the proposal meets the two kilometre separation distance from settlements referred to in Scottish Planning Policy. However, because of the comparatively small scale of the proposed turbine, its impact when seen from that area, particularly from Bardrainney, would not be so significant, within the overall scale of the landscape, as to justify refusal of the development.
“I reach the same conclusion with respect to Kilmacolm, and other settlements in the surrounding area. It would also be seen from a greater distance, including parts of Argyll to the north of the Clyde, but from these distances it would be virtually invisible in many climatic circumstances. If a greater number of turbines were proposed the conclusion may be different, but I must deal with the single turbine before me.”
Mr Croft added: “I also noted the large number of pylons in the area. Whilst these are much shorter in height, many are particularly prominent because of relatively complex construction. Whilst this does not provide an argument for further prominent features in the landscape, it does mean that the turbine would not be the only feature drawing the eye from viewpoints in the area. In this case and, based on my experience of similar turbines elsewhere, the impact from a distance would be subdued within the scale of the wider landscape.”
He also commented: “The council expresses concern about the proximity of core paths to the turbine – the closest being the Devol Road, which is effectively adjacent to the site. I do not regard the proposed turbine as being of such a scale that it is likely to discourage many people walking past on a through route. There may even be some who would regard the turbine as being of visual interest.”
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