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Odds stacked against plan for Dodd Hill windfarm  

Credit:  By Graham Brown, 11 March 2013 | www.thecourier.co.uk ~~

A windfarm company is facing the prospect of another veto for a multi-million-pound Angus development.

Just weeks after losing an appeal against Angus Council’s refusal of their £20 million-plus Corse Hill scheme on the coast between Arbroath and Carnoustie, West Coast Energy is now staring down the barrel of a refusal recommendation over its five-turbine Dodd Hill proposal for a 184-hectare site on the Angus/Dundee border.

The plan, around 3km north-east of Tealing, will be considered by Angus development standards councillors on Tuesday but in his assessment of the bid, council infrastructure services director Eric Lowson has said he believes green energy positives are outweighed by landscape and amenity negatives.

The applicants have specified a list of possible turbines, all three-bladed and ranging in hub height from 75m to 85m and in height to tip from 125m to 126.5m.

Generating capacity of the different machines would also vary accordingly, from 2 Megawatts (MW) to 3MW, with an overall potential generation capacity of between 10MW and 15MW.

A permanent 80m tall steel lattice anemometry mast and around 2.5 kilometres of access tracks are also proposed. In all, the Dodd Hill proposal drew 178 letters of representation – all but five objecting to the windfarm.

Neither Tealing nor Murroes and Wellbank community councils officially objected to the West Coast plan, but Tealing said the response from those at a public meeting to discuss the bid was majority opposition.

Inverarity Community Council did, however, object on several grounds, including visual impact, potential cumulative effect on the surrounding area, noise nuisance, shadow flicker and tourism impact.

Scottish Natural Heritage has also commented on several aspects of the scheme, saying they believed it would create “significant and adverse localised impacts on landscape and visual amenity”.

The director’s report adds: “SNH advises that given the significance of the impacts of the development on the immediate and wider landscape character types, the proposed turbines would dominate the underlying relatively gentle hill form and would be contrary to current good design practice.

“Strategically SNH considers that there may be some capacity to accommodate a small wind energy development at this site.

“However, it is recommended that further design work is undertaken and that this should consider the scale of the development, in particular turbine heights and numbers, to reduce the significance of effects.”

Mr Lowson states: “Although the proposed windfarm would comply with some relevant policies and criteria in the development plan this must be balanced against the significant and adverse landscape and cumulative landscape impacts as well as the significant and adverse impacts identified in respect of the visual amenity on residents within a close proximity.”

Source:  By Graham Brown, 11 March 2013 | www.thecourier.co.uk

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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