Angus campaigners have stepped up their opposition to a windfarm proposal they claim will ”disfigure” the 360 degree view from a popular county vantage point.
The ACT (Against Carrot/Dodd Hill Turbines) action group have been formed to fight Welsh company West Coast Energy’s scheme for five 126-metre turbines at Dodd Hill, north east of Tealing and on the edge of the Dundee/Angus boundary.
West Coast Energy revealed the plan earlier this year and has already staged local community information events as part of the public consultation process over what the firm plans to be its second windfarm venture in the district, having previously unveiled a seven-turbine proposal for Corse Hill, between Arbroath and Carnoustie.
ACT have now produced images of how they believe the Dodd Hill turbines will look on the local landscape and say visitors to the adjacent Carrot Hill viewpoint are overwhelmingly against the scheme.
If both West Coast Energy plans were to be given the green light, ACT say the two windfarms and the existing twin turbines at Dundee’s Michelin farm would all be clearly visible from the Angus beauty spot.
”These will be larger than the ones located at Michelin and, if approved, could unleash a procession of giant turbines, similar in size to the London Eye and 2½ times the size of the East and Old Parish church in Forfar across the beautiful Angus countryside,” claimed ACT spokesman George Dewar.
The campaigners have been canvassing visitors to the Carrot Hill viewpoint, many of whom walk to the Carrot Hill trig point and across to the Dodd Hill cairn to take in a 360 degree view of the Fife coast, North Sea, Sidlaws and Strathmore Valley.
”Over 150 of the visitors spoken with over a two-week period indicated that this proposal would definitely spoil the visual impact and their enjoyment of the area,” said the group.
”The area is a recognised viewpoint and is known for its peace and tranquillity. Adjacent moorland contains a public footpath and the area is enjoyed by walkers, cyclists and horse riders.
”A petition has also been signed by the many visitors to this area showing their concern over the development.”
ACT added: ”The gigantic scale and location of the proposed turbines contravenes all of the advice and recommendations contained in the Angus Local Plan Review.”
”The Scottish Government Planning Policy document itself recommends a two kilometre set-back distance from residential dwellings to help reduce the impact on local communities. There are at least 33 houses within this area.”
The campaigners are now also in consultation with the local community council, MSP and MP and have also challenged the company over the level of community benefit funding which could emerge from the scheme, saying that profits based on installed capacity could be significantly less than suggested.
”There is strong opposition to the development,” added the campaigners.
ACT have prepared leaflets which will be delivered to residents in the area and launched the AgainstCarrotDoddHillTurbines.co.uk campaign website.
Dodd Hill project manager Jonathan Cawley said: ”Our application for Dodd Hill windfarm has yet to be submitted to Angus Council, and so is still very much a work in progress.
”The landscape and visual impact assessment and the noise assessments are still ongoing, and will form part of our submission.
”We have been consulting extensively with the local public, and held two public exhibitions in March which were well attended. We have also encouraged people to fill out a public opinion survey to let us know their thoughts on the development, so we can ensure it meets the needs of the local community.”
He continued: ”Our Community Benefit offering is one we take great pride in. At our public exhibition we provided information on our proposed 10% Community Benefit Fund, and we encouraged individuals to leave their comments regarding the Community Benefit package and the Dodd Hill proposal, and we were pleased by the level of interest the community has shown.
”We are currently in discussions with representatives from Inverarity, Tealing and Murroes and Wellbank Community Councils to establish whether it would be appropriate to create a Dodd Hill Community Benefit Forum.
”The creation of this group would ensure the local communities can continue to put forward their views on the Community Benefit package and provide feedback on all aspects of the proposal once it is submitted.”
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