March 2, 2012

Second vote against Clatto windfarm plans

Fife Today, 2 March 2012

Concerns expressed in north east Fife over windfarm proposals for Clatto Hill have been backed by councillors in the Levenmouth area.

At the area’s local planning committee meeting on Wednesday, councillors voted 7-1 to reject plans by Green Cat Renewables and West Coast Energy to erect a total of eight turbines at Devon Wood.

The Levenmouth committee was consulted on the issue because an anemometer mast for West Coast Energy’s five turbine plan is located within the Levenmouth area, whilst the rest of the turbines lie in north east Fife.

Last Wednesday the majority of councillors on the north east Fife committee gave the plans the thumbs down due to the adverse impact on the landscape and residential amenity, noise and driver distraction.

Concerns were also raised about the possible impact on tourism and the economy and the detrimetal effect on wildlife.

Steve Salt, planning and development director for West Coast Energy, said: “We are disappointed members of the Levenmouth committee could not come to an unanimous view on our application for the Devon Wood windfarm.

“However, we are are pleased that some senior local ward members to the site demonstrated their support to the committee.

“We understand that there are still others who are concerned about the impact on the local communities, and feel they either are unable to support our application or that they do not have enough information to make a decision either way.

“In light of this, it is clear to us that elected members require more information about our proposal in order to come to a balanced and considered view.

“In particular, the issues seem to relate to the cumulative impact of our proj ect and other neighbouring projects, as well as the legal control the council can exert to ensure we only build a five turbine scheme, which we have committed ourselves to do.

“We are keen to address these issues as a matter of urgency, so that all members feel they are able to take a decision when the application comes before the strategic planning committee.

“Moving forward, we intend to set out the positive case for our proj ect and to demonstrate the benefits it will bring to the local communities that will host it, and Fife as a whole.”

Whilst opposition campaigners Clatto Landscape Protection Group celebrated this week’s decision, they still have to convince members of Fife Council’s stategic planning committee that the plan should be rejected.

That committee will take the final decision on the application at its meeting on March 20.

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