Developers behind a controversial windfarm proposal for nine turbines in Perthshire are considering their next move after the local authority rejected their plan.
Force 9 Energy says that the planned windfarm at Mull Hill, Abercairney Estate, Crieff – which would have been visible from Perth – would have brought around £22.5 million to the local area and led to a community benefit fund of up to £78,750 per year.
In addition, they claim the proposal would have provided benefits to the local community of up to £3.6 million per year, while supporting local schools in the area.
Perth and Kinross Council’s development management committee refused the application at a recent meeting, partly based on the siting and size of the turbines.
Committee convener Tom Gray told members that he felt the sight of nine turbines near Gilmerton would “damage” the beauty of the area and Councillor Alan Livingstone backed him, stating the “intrusion” would do lasting damage to the tourism industry.
Andrew Smith, development manager at Force 9 Energy, told The Courier they were disappointed at the council’s decision.
“We will now be reviewing the council’s reasons for refusal before considering what action to take,” he said.
“The Mull Hill windfarm is a considered planning application, which takes into account the reporter’s recommendation on the previous Abercairny Wind Farm, who considered the Mull Hill turbine cluster acceptable in terms of visual and cumulative impact. We believe that Perth and Kinross Council in reaching its decision did not place the appropriate weight to this as a material consideration, nor the significant local benefits that the proposal will generate.”
These include reinvestment in Abercairney Estate, increased revenue spent in the wider area, increased demand for bed spaces and leisure spending, and further support for existing businesses, he suggested.
“These benefits are in addition to the contribution the wind farm would make to the Scottish Government’s renewablen energy targets and the saving of approximately 25,425 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year (compared to conventional fuel sources),” he added.
A spokesperson for Perth and Kinross Council declined to comment on the matter.
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