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Controversial community wind farm rejected by Scottish Government

A bid to erect the first community owned wind turbines in the East of Scotland has failed after an appeal by its backers was turned down by the Scottish Government.

Newburgh Community Trust had hoped to build three 100-metre turbines on Lindores Hill, Newburgh, Fife.

The trust claimed the scheme would generate around £250,000 for the local community each year, rising to more than £1m once the costs had been paid off. It was anticipated that the money could have been used to reduce residents’ energy bills and fund local projects.

But the proposals, which had split the community, had been rejected by Fife Council’s North East Fife area committee and an appeal was put forward to the Scottish Government, which has also been knocked back.

A government reporter has ruled that the impact of the turbines would be too great for the area.

Andrew Arbuckle, of Newburgh Community Trust, said a lot of people are disappointed by the decision.

He said: “This would have been a breakthrough for the East. We had been working on the project for three and a half years and there was a lot of support for it.

“In the future we could possibly look at something similar on a smaller scale or in a different location but at the moment we are stunned.”

There had been a large scale public debate over the wind farm including an online backlash.

Objectors had highlighted the scale and height of the turbines as well as the impact on the landscape.