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Government reporter upholds refusal of Fife windfarms

Anti-windfarm campaigners are celebrating after a Scottish Government reporter dismissed two separate appeals and refused planning permission for 10 turbines at a Fife beauty spot.

Green Cat Renewables has been told the main reason why its application for three 100 metre tall turbines at Clatto Farm, near Cupar, has been rejected is because the proposal would interfere with the main radar at RAF Leuchars.

It would also have an adverse visual impact on nearby residents – some within 700 metres of the site – and would have an adverse effect on the local landscape resulting from the excessive scale of the turbines in relation to existing landscape features.

In a simultaneous decision, the reporter Michael Cunliffe has also informed West Coast Energy that its application for seven 121 metre tall turbines at adjacent Devon Wood has also been dismissed.

Both applications were considered and refused planning permission by Fife Council around the same time earlier this year, with the reporter considering the two appeals together.

Referring to his decision on the Clatto Farm site, Mr Cunliffe said: ”The proposal would make a worthwhile, if small, contribution towards renewable electricity generation and reduction of carbon emissions.

”These are important aims of Scottish and UK government policy, though the 2020 Routemap for Renewable Energy in Scotland states the need to ensure, as renewable penetration increases onshore, that environmental and land use considerations are not compromised.

”Similarly, support for the development of windfarms is limited to locations where environmental and cumulative impacts can be satisfactorily addressed.

”The design and location of any windfarm development should reflect the scale and character of the landscape, and the location of turbines should be considered carefully to ensure that the landscape and visual impact is minimised.

”That is not the case with this proposal. While a balance has to be struck, and involves comparing one set of environmental considerations with another, the renewable energy case here is not in my view so overwhelming as to outweigh the adverse landscape and visual impacts and the effect on defence radar.”

The Clatto Landscape Protection Group, who campaigned vigorously against the applications, have welcomed the news.