The developers of two Angus windfarms are pondering their next moves, after both were refused permission by councillors.
The Corse Hill site at Easthaven, where West Coast Energy (WCE) applied to locate the 17.5 megaWatt (MW) scheme, was refused, in line with council officer guidance.
Permission for the 7.2 MW Carrach development, five miles west of Kirriemuir, was also turned down by councillors, in spite of a local authority report advising acceptance.
WCE said it remained ”committed to delivering” the seven-turbine project.
Director Steve Salt told The Courier: ”We are very disappointed, but not surprised, that our application for the Corse Hill windfarm was refused.
”Angus Council planners had recommended its refusal on the basis of a new and unduly restrictive policy on location and visual impact.
”That made it hard for councillors to go against this recommendation. We do, however, believe in the merits of our application.”
Mr Salt said he believed the application has been strongly supported by the community and had ”very minimal” objection from nearby residents.
He added: ”We believe the application provided an environmentally-friendly way to provide power by making use of a coastal location.
”Finally, we believe there would be significant financial and employment benefits brought to the economy and the local area if the application was to go ahead.
”For these reasons, we remain committed to delivering this project and we intend to explore the best way to take this forward.”
Corse Hill Community Benefit Forum chairman David Sawers said: ”The windfarm and its associated community turbine represented a great potential investment in the Angus economy and to the local communities of Arbroath, Carnoustie and the surrounding area.”
Carnoustie Community Council treasurer Ralph Morris said: ”We have not received any note of discontent or objection from any resident in the community council boundary towards West Coast Energy’s Corse Hill Wind Farm.
”Given there are approximately around 11,000 residents in the community council area, this shows a significant level of support for the proposals.”
Mike Cosans of Arbroath Community Council said: ”The windfarm would have been beneficial to Arbroath and its surrounding areas, so it was a disappointing decision taken today by the council.”
As campaigners in the Angus glens celebrated the decision by councillors to overturn the official approval recommendation for the nine-turbine Carrach scheme, the applicants are pondering whether to appeal refusal of the £12 million plan.
Graeme Richardson, one of the partners behind the project, who also lives on the site, said: ”We are very disappointed with the decision councillors have made.
”This is especially given the strong support for the project we have received from agencies, planners and many local people.”
It is anticipated the applicants will now await the formal issue of the council decision and examine it in detail before considering whether to appeal the outcome.
Objectors said the scheme would be visible for miles and have a ”catastrophic” effect on the local area.
Roger Clegg of Kirriemuir Landward West community council told the committee: ”Being on the edge of the Cairngorms National Park would seem not to bring the blessing of unspoilt countryside, but the curse of an increasingly industrial landscape.”
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