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Windfarm could tower 415 feet above Fife  

Credit:  By Peter Swindon | The Courier | www.thecourier.co.uk 19 July 2012 ~~

An energy company mistakenly given the green light to build a wind farm has applied to make its turbines more than 400 feet tall.

Airvolution’s original application for two 328-foot turbines at Mossmorran was signed off by officials at Fife Council.

However, it later emerged the council owns part of the land, so politicians should have been given the opportunity to run the rule over it.

In a leaked letter seen by the Courier, lead officer Mark Russell said: “The application should have gone to Cowdenbeath Area Committee on this occasion, given part of the site in terms of the redline boundary relating to the application site is in the ownership of the council.”

The council’s head of planning later apologised to councillors for the error, describing it as a “rare occurrence”.

Now Airvolution wants to build the two turbines to an increased height of 415 feet, twice as tall as the Wallace Monument.

Lochgelly resident James Glen, who uncovered the error by council planners, said the company’s plans should be blocked.

“Fife Council made a mistake in approving the initial application for 100-metre turbines, which turned out to be a wrong decision to take since Fife Council owns the verge of the land,” he said.

“The democratic process was ignored for the previous application, which was approved.

“Fife Council now has an opportunity to correct their previous mistake by not allowing this application.”

The leader of Fife Council Alex Rowley has imposed a moratorium on the approval of turbine applications until a consultation into potential sites is carried out.

He also pledged to review the criteria used to determine whether a planning application goes to councillors or council officials for a decision.

“We will carry out a review of the scheme of delegation,” he said.

“This will include decisions being taken on wind turbines, as we want to ensure councillors have more opportunity to be involved in these decisions.”

Airvolution’s latest wind farm application has been earmarked for a “delegated decision”, but planner Stuart Wilson was quick to point out it could still go before councillors.

“The application does not appear to be a major application, so it does not automatically trigger the need for a committee decision,” he told The Courier.

“However, one would assume that lightning won’t strike twice and this application will be referred to committee.”

[also titled :Firm bids to increase Mossmorran windfarm turbines to over 400 feet]

Source:  By Peter Swindon | The Courier | www.thecourier.co.uk 19 July 2012

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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