- National Wind Watch: Wind Energy News - https://www.wind-watch.org/news -

Planning service accused of a culture of denial

Fife Council’s planning service is guilty of a “culture of denial”, according to 11 organisations and groups from across Fife who oppose a plethora of wind turbine applications proposed for the region.

The organisations have written a joint letter to the chief executive of Fife Council to complain that the planning department is “failing local communities and individual residents threatened by turbine applications.”

The groups – Protect Rural East Fife (PREF); Clatto Landscape Protection Group (CLPG); Auchtermuchty Landscape and Environment Group (ALE); Ceres and District Environment and Amenity Protection Group (CADEAP); Protect Largoward Environment and Amenity Group (PLEA); Kenly Landscape Protection Group (KLPG); Save Carnbee and Arncroach Landscape and Environment (SCALE); Stop Proliferations of Turbines (SPOT); Fife Stop Turbines at Cameron Kinaldy (STACK); West Fife Community Council Forum and Lochgelly – Loch of Shining Waters Forum – accuse Fife Council planners of “ignoring” national and local policies when drawing up planning reports, which councillors use to decide applications.

The groups also accuse planners of “uncritically accepting developers’ statements”, especially about the visual impact of turbines, in a way which “is prejudicial to the people of Fife”.

The specific problems the groups see are:

• A culture of denial of adverse visual impact even when local communities object in considerable numbers with this as a primary reason.

• The absence of a critical approach by the planning authority to the environmental impact assessments.

These are self-serving documents which ascribe significance of visual impact in the developer’s terms and not in the terms of the people who would receive the impact.

• ASH guidelines are interpreted as if proposals are automatically acceptable at their upper limits or beyond.

The guidelines describe a range of turbine heights and numbers in a broad context to encourage a developer to make the best fit choice of turbine to limit the landscape and visual impact.

•Uncritical acceptance of noise regulations.