Councillors will this week be advised to vote against a controversial windfarm a few miles from St Andrews – although a final decision will ultimately be made by Scottish ministers.
Fife Council planning officials will advise members of the North-East Fife area committee to reject proposals for a windfarm at Lingo and south Kinaldy, between Largoward and Dunino.
However, it will be a case of going through the motions for councillors on Wednesday because renewable energy developer West Coast Energy has already appealed to the Scottish Government, after the target date for determining its planning application was missed.
It will now be a Government-appointed reporter, rather than councillors, who decide whether five 328-feet turbines can be built.
The windfarm project is the second in the area in the hands of the Government, with St Andrews University having appealed the council’s rejection of its bid to build six turbines up to the same height at Kinaldy Farm, by Boarhills.
The move by West Coast Energy has enraged a local action group Stop Turbines at Cameron/Kinaldy (STACK).
But they are not alone in their opposition with a total of 448 letters of objection received by Fife Council regarding the Lingo application.
Opponents include Historic Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage and the community councils of Cameron, Carnbee and Arncroach and Boarhills and Dunino.
Reasons for refusal include the scale height and number of turbines; guidance breach; impact on landscape character; proximity to residences, cumulative impact and noise.
In his report, council planning official Darren O’Hare states: “It has been demonstrated that subject to the imposition of condition, this development could comply with the development plan and other national and council guidance in respect of a number of the material planning considerations such as ecology/ornithology, noise, shadow flicker, hydrology, telecommunications, access rights and road safety.
“However, this must be balanced against the significant visual impact of the development on the surrounding landscape, the adverse visual effects on occupiers of some individual properties, the considerable adverse impacts on views to the historic St Andrews skyline from the West Sands and Links area and on views south from St Rules Tower.
“Whilst the proposal would provide economic benefit and would assist in meeting the overall Scottish Government energy targets given the significant shift in energy production objectives towards renewable sources, this does not outweigh the significant detrimental impacts identified.”
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