March 16, 2012

Campaign group submits planning complaint

Fife Today, 16 March 2012

An action group campaigning against two wind farms being built in north east Fife has written to Fife Council to submit a formal complaint over the whole process.

The Clatto Landscape Protection Group (CLPG) has sent a 17-page document to Ronnie Hinds, Fife Council’s chief executive, disputing the way planning officials arrived at their recommendations to councillors.

Planners had recommended ‘conditional approval’ for West Coast Energy’s proposal to build five turbines at Devon Wood, just north of Kennoway, and Green Cat Renwables’ proposal to build a three-turbine farm at Clatto Farm.

However the majority of councillors at both the north east Fife and Levenmouth committees went against planners’ recommendation for approval, with Councillor Alistair Hunter calling for “far more consistent information”.

CLPG claims proper assessments were not made and key planning policies were ignored.

It adds it is concerned about the possibility of planning approval being given to developments which, in its view, don’t pass the policy tests set out by the council and the Scottish Government.

Greg Brown, chairman of CLPG, said: “We are also concerned for the whole of Fife. If policies can be sidelined at Clatto, it can be done again and again. It creates a grim prospect for Fife residents and Fife tourism revenues.

“Many councillors saw right away that something wasn’t right about the planning assessments. With their experience, they put their finger on quite a number of critical flaws.”

A final decision on both of the developments will be made on Tuesday.

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