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Any way the wind blows…

A controversial application to build three 100 metre-high wind turbines near Auchtertool has been given the green-light.

Kirkcaldy area committee overturned objections by planners the project, by Aberdeen-based company Renewable Energy Ventures Ltd, would blight the local landscape.

The plan, which will bring in at least £20,000 per annum to Auchtertool, had attracted 24 letters of objection and 47 letters of support.

Addressing the committee, Cllr Susan Leslie protested that being “committed to renewable energy” meant making realistic sacrifices.

“We cannot make windfarms invisible, just as pylons are not invisible and neither is Mossmorran,” she said.

“It’s going to be part of the landscape. We have to say we’re going to be able to see these turbines, which are not as ugly as pylons in my view.

“I would rather have turbines than a nuclear power station.”

The commitee had been shown mock-up “worst-case scenario” photographs showing how the turbine development would be clearly seen from locations as distant as Vane Farm, Knockhill and Glenrothes Golf Club.


Alastair Hamilton, service manager enterprise, planning and protective services, also stressed here was a “detrimental cumulative effect” given the existence of windfarms at Little Raith and Mossmorran.

Cllr George Kay stressed the wind turbine application would be the last to be considered by the area committee.

He had been looking at the application for “months and months” and had been finding it difficult to reach a decision.

Opinions among the local community were equally split, he said, but two more windafarms were already in the pipeline for Camilla Loch and Gleniston Farm near Cardenden.

He added: “Fife Council is undertaking a study to see where they could site 15/16 wind turbines themselves. It would be difficult to refuse this and then the Council put forward an application to erect at Balbardie (House Farm near Kinghorn). What do we do?

“I think I have to put my hand up to go ahead with the development and look to see that gains be put forward to the community.

“If we didn’t go ahead with this and it’s referred on to the Reporter, I honestly feel that the Reporter would say to us to go ahead anyway.”

Cllr Kay motioned to approve the application and Cllr Leslie seconded the motion.

No councillors objected.