The Scottish Government has been asked to decide whether a Perthshire windfarm should be given the green light.
Developer RDS Element Power Limited has appealed to the Directorate for Planning and Environmental Appeals over its seven-turbine Tullymurdoch scheme, near Alyth.
The firm claims Perth and Kinross Council has failed to decide whether to grant permission for the scheme within the agreed time limit.
An extension to that limit has already passed. The windfarm is one of a cluster in the Alyth area, including the already completed Drumderg, approved Welton of Creuchies and to-be-determined Bamff complexes.
Planners had hoped to bring Tullymurdoch and Bamff to the same council committee for determination so their cumulative impact could be assessed.
Council planning officials are against the scheme, both in its own right and because of the effect on the landscape numerous windfarms would have.
In a paper due to go before committee this month, seen by The Courier, development quality manager Nick Brian outlines these reasons.
He states: “The council is not satisfied that the energy contribution of the proposed turbines would outweigh the significant adverse effects on local environmental quality.
“The proposal’s siting, size of turbines, prominence and visual association with existing and consented windfarms within the locality would have a major adverse cumulative impact on existing landscape character and visual amenity.”
RDS Element Power says Tullymurdoch – named after a nearby farm – will have a generating capacity of between 14 and 17.5 megawatts in total, depending on final turbine selection.
It would generate enough power for between 7,440 and 9,300 homes – equivalent to powering 37-47% of the households in Perth – and would displace between 18,963 and 23,704 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year.
Around 20 short-term construction jobs will be created during the 10-month construction period.
The company’s appeal document states: “Through the EIA (environmental impact assessment) process undertaken in accordance with good practice and consultation with the council and other relevant statutory bodies, potential environmental effects have been identified and either avoided or impacts reduced to acceptable levels.
“With respect to the significance of impacts on the environment identified in the environmental statement, these are considered limited in both spatial extent and scale.
“With regard to impacts on landscape character, these are localised and do not compromise the integrity of the surrounding landscape character areas.
“The design of the development has been carefully considered and … integrates well with the existing and consented turbines in the area and minimises the dispersion of impacts to areas which are otherwise unaffected.
“With regard to residential amenity, the residual impacts are not considered to be unacceptable, as the scale of impacts arising is not overbearing on the 19 residential properties significantly affected.”
It is hoped the appeal can be determined in early June.
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