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Wind turbine appeal rejected

Councillors have rejected an appeal to overturn the refusal of a planning application for 25-metre tall wind turbine in a Green Belt area near Wallyford.

East Lothian Council’s Local Review Body, which last Thursday comprised of Councillors Tim Day, Jim Gillies and Norman Hampshire, considered an appeal from applicant Janice Laird for a 11KW wind turbine on land at St Clements Wells Farm approximately 790 metres to the south-east of Wallyford.

The application had been rejected in May by planning officials as the turbine would have a “harmful impact on the landscape of this part of the countryside of the Edinburgh Green Belt and would be contrary to the relevant policies and planning guidance”.

Review body members heard that, if erected, the turbine would impact on the view of Fa’side Castle from the north, and that the proposed location of the turbine was within a designated site of the Battle of Pinkie – though not relating to a “historically significant” part of the conflict – so a programme of archaelogical works was recommended if councillors chose to grant planning permission.

A supporting statement included within the original planning application stated that the wind turbine would “be used to generate renewable energy and reduce CO2 emissions by over 19 tonnes per year”.

When asking for it to be appealed, Ms Laird stated that the turbine would “contribute to the viability of the farm business and would be acceptable in terms of the visual impact on the landscape”.

However, all three councillors rejected her argument and voted in favour of the original refusal of the project.

Mr Hampshire (Labour) said: “This is a wind turbine application within the East Lothian countryside that is contrary to the council’s policies. There was a site visit and it was quite clear what impact the turbine would have on the landscape.

He added that he did “have sympathy for the argument being used that the wind turbine would be used to support the farm” but not if the “consequence was the destruction of the East Lothian countryside”.

Mr Day (Conservative) echoed those comments, describing the proposed wind turbine as a “structure that would be damaging to the landscape”.