November 28, 2012

Ross turbine go-ahead despite councillor’s ‘scarring’ fears

By Hugh Ross | Ross-shire Journal | 27 November 20121 |

A Ross-shire farm has been granted permission to erect a new turbine – despite a veteran Dingwall councillor claiming the amount of wind-hungry structures are scarring the local hillside.

James Brown and Partners, of Somerby Farm, Lochussie, got the green light from Highland Council on Tuesday to erect the 45.6-metre high turbine on one of its fields.

A decision had been postponed by the north planning applications committee back in September because councillors criticised the photographs of the projected turbines and said they were not good enough.

The farm had originally intended to build three turbines but cut that to one instead and improved photographs were provided to the committee which approved the scheme.

However, committee member Margaret Paterson said she had grave misgivings about the revised development and had changed her mind about the impact of solitary turbines.

“Life can be difficult sometimes,” said Councillor Paterson, at the meeting in Inverness.

“If we refuse it, they [applicant] will go to appeal. I am sure it will impact on the area, I have always said that one turbine I didn’t have a problem with but now we are getting more and more.

“When is it going to stop? I know I have approved some of them but that hillside is so beautiful, that face is becoming so cluttered. I know it has been cut from three to one but I just want to know, when is enough, enough?”

Ferintosh Community Council had been among the six objectors.

Planning officer Julie Ferguson told the committee that the turbine was not considered to have a major impact on the landscape or dominate its surroundings.

She said other manmade structures like electricity pylons and a wind turbine at the Dingwall auction mart, which was controversially approved earlier this year, were also in the vicinity while the new turbine was not close to the road.

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