August 25, 2012

Area’s third windfarm bid

Alan Richardson | The Courier | 25 August 2012

Proposals for a new Strathmore windfarm have been laid before Perth and Kinross Council planners.

The long-awaited Tullymurdoch development to the north-west of Alyth will feature seven, 120-metre turbines and create enough power for almost 10,000 homes.

It is one of several windfarms at various stages in the planning process across the area, including the nearby Bamff and Welton of Creuchies complexes.

RDS Element Power Limited claims the 94.5-hectare site – named for nearby Tullymurdoch Farm – will have little effect on local people, who warned they have no problem with multiple windfarms but are desperate not to go through the same issues as were suffered when the Drumderg turbines were being installed.

The environmental impact study accompanying the planning application states: “It is possible that the Bamff andTullymurdoch windfarms could be constructed over an overlapping period.

“In the event that both the submitted Bamff windfarm development and this development were to be constructed at the same time, then the cumulative effects of traffic from both developments would be addressed through the construction traffic management plan, which will be prepared for the development in consultation with the council.”

It continues: “While the development would result in some localised and significant adverse effects on environmental quality in relation to the effect on local landscape character, the turbines have been sited and designed to minimise these effects.

“These adverse effects are outweighed by the overall benefits of the scheme in generating renewable energy, thereby reducing reliance on fossil fuels, reducing carbon emissions and reducing pollution.

“The development’s only impact is on the localised landscape character and not on the overall landscape character areas. This impact is therefore not significantly adverse enough to warrant refusal of this application.”

RDS Element Power said Tullymurdoch will have a generating capacity of between 14 and 17.5 megawatts in total, depending on final turbine selection. It would generate enough power for between 7440 and 9300 homes – equivalent to powering 37 to 47% of the households in Perth – and would displace between 18,963 and 23,704 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year.

Around 20 short-term construction jobs will be created during the 10-month construction period. The report states: “This development is likely to have significant visual impacts for 19 residential properties.

“Whilst significant, these effects are not predicted to impact on these properties to such an extent that it will be overwhelming and would render the properties an unpleasant place to live.

“This development is therefore considered to have a significant but, on balance, acceptable visual impact on affected residential properties and is therefore not contrary to the relevant policies on amenity.

“This development will not have unacceptable noise, traffic or electromagnetic interference impacts on residential amenity and is therefore in accord with the relevant policies on the protection of amenity in relation to these issues.”

A community fund would be set up, the extent of which will be decided later.

Scottish Power Renewables’ Bamff windfarm, three and a half miles north-west of Alyth, is also for seven turbines over 100 metres in height, which the firm says will produce 14MW of energy, enough to power around 8000 homes.

Green Cat Renewables is behind the fourturbine cluster at Welton of Creuchies, on farmland around two miles north-east of Blairgowrie. Its turbines will be under 100 metres high and have an installed capacity of 9.2MW. It was approved by Perth and Kinross Council’s local review board last summer.

Alyth Community Council chairman Sanjay Samanai said: “The biggest concern is that we now have three applications and the real concern is transportation through the town so we are going to ask the developers to talk to each other and come up with a consistent management plan.

“They must go through at consistent times, avoiding the school runs and rush hour, and provide plenty of information about what they’re going to do. Also, if there is any damage caused to the roads, they must make good on that.”

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