June 14, 2012

Ethie Castle owner warns wind turbine could spark ‘plethora’ of similar plans

By Graeme Bletcher, The Courier, www.thecourier.co.uk 13 June 2012

A 46-metre wind turbine could be set up just a short distance from an A-listed 14th-century Angus castle.

The owners of Ethie Castle near Arbroath have claimed constructing the tower on farmland just 400 metres away from their perimeter walls would badly impact the county’s tourist draw.

Kirstin de Morgan operates the site as a bed and breakfast business and said the application from Panlathy Farming Co would stop visitors coming to the area and spoil views over Lunan Bay, which attracts thousands of tourists over the summer months.

She also raised a wider concern over the amount of windfarm applications stacking up in Angus, and called for the council to change its guidelines.

”The council is reassessing its policy on wind turbines, but this application may be decided before the new policy comes in,” said Mrs de Morgan.

”What worries me most is that this will set a precedent for farmers and landowners in the area and we will see applications put in for a plethora of sites. I suspect many farmers are watching quietly to see what happens.

”It is the wrong way to go. This is not just my fight and I know a lot of people are of the same opinion. Having spoken to local residents I know many are not in favour.”

If approved the turbine would be positioned to the northwest of the boundary walls of the red sandstone castle, which is Scotland’s second oldest permanently inhabited residence.

Mrs de Morgan added: ”Whilst there is a business run from the house it is primarily a home and allegedly an important architectural and historic Grade A building.

”Already the skyline behind Ethie has been broken by the erection of an elevated potato shed with no notification to local residents and through delegated powers.

”It would be a tragedy to mar it further.”

A Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment (LVIA) has been carried out, rating the turbine’s effect on the character of the area as ”minor to moderate”.

The report stated: ”The siting of the turbine northwards of Ethie Castle, together with the castle walls and a mix of young and mature trees surrounding the castle’s boundary, will help limit its impact on the castle and its setting.

”These features will help break up views of the turbine from the castle and its grounds, while not impacting on views towards the coast.

”Within the local landscape, the presence of other strong vertical elements, including coniferous forestry and agricultural buildings, help reduce the extent of this impact.”

The nearest settlements are Inverkeilor and Auchmithie villages, around 2.6 kilometres to north-west and south-west respectively.

URL to article:  https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2012/06/14/ethie-castle-owner-warns-wind-turbine-could-spark-plethora-of-similar-plans/