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Plans lodged for 125-metre wind turbine

Plans have been submitted to erect a wind turbine near Blairhall which would be bigger than the giant FMC structure that now dominates the West Fife skyline.

Edinburgh-based renewable energy developers Energy Merchants (Lockshaw Moss) Ltd have applied for planning permission to put up the 125-metre turbine on land adjacent to the Lockshaw Moss raised bog, 2km northwest of the village.

At 410ft, the turbine would be more than twice the height of the Scott Monument. It would have a capacity of around two megawatts and stand for 25 years, before being decommissioned.

The plans include a control building, underground electricity cable and access track.

The developers are “amenable” to the idea of a community benefit fund – an amount of £3000 per megawatt has been proposed per year, totalling £6000 annually or £150,000 over 25 years, to benefit local community groups.

At the nearest point, the turbine lies just over 190 metres from the Lockshaw Mosses Site of Special Scientific Interest, which birds, small mammals such as bats, reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates use for cover, shelter and feeding.

However, in a supporting statement, agents LoganPM said the turbine would have “no adverse impact on the habitats and species, and integrity of the SSSI”.

It added that a community consultation held earlier in May had revealed that the turbine “was fairly acceptable but that widespread proliferation of wind turbine schemes across West Fife would not be welcomed”.

The report said the proposal also “meets recognised noise guidelines” and said a study has predicted that “the overall character and quality of the landscape within the study area will not be significantly adversely impacted by the proposed development”.