Multi-million-pound Angus windfarm plans may not be dead in the water despite a planning appeal veto.
The seven turbines in the Corse Hill proposal were tagged an “excessive intrusion” on the landscape in a report after applicants, West Coast Energy (WCE), challenged last August’s refusal by Angus councillors for the scheme on land at Nether Kelly, between Arbroath and Carnoustie.
Reporter Michael Cunliffe said Arbroath would appear against a “backdrop” of turbines from the North East if the windfarm was approved.
He also highlighted the possible cumulative effect for motorists heading north, who Mr Cunliffe said would encounter the existing Michelin factory turbines in Dundee before travelling along the A92, to which the planned Angus windfarm would be close.
While acknowledging the potential gain to the local economy in renewable energy and financial terms, including a projected boost of more than £50,000 a year from a community turbine, the reporter said the benefits were outweighed by “failures in relation to the adverse effects on the local landscape resulting from the excessive scale of the turbines, and the visual impacts on nearby residents.”
West Coast Energy planning director Steve Salt has now told The Courier that the company remains committed to developing a wind farm in Angus and will take its time to consider the way ahead.
“From our perspective we are obviously disappointed with the outcome of the appeal,” said Mr Salt.
“We spent a lot of time working with the community on this project and thought it was best in class in terms of the community side of things.
“Last summer, the work of WCE in engaging with locals and developing the Corse Hill Community Benefit Forum, led by former Angus Council chief executive David Sawers, was recognised at a national awards ceremony in London.”
Mr Salt continued: “We’re disappointed that we cannot deliver the significant benefits. What we need to do now is look closely at the Reporter’s decision, the issues that have been raised and take stock.
“He feels that the scale of the turbines was not appropriate and that is perhaps something we need to examine.”
Mr Salt continued: “It is perhaps early days for us to say how we may go forward, but we will be examining the report in very close detail.
“We still want to invest in Angus, and a scheme like this would allow us to do that and to deliver the benefits to the community.”
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