Campaigners reacted with delight after the Scottish Government finally killed off an application for two giant wind turbines in Montrose.
Pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) expressed disappointment at the Reporter’s decision but said it was “too early to say” if they will go back to the drawing board and submit a fresh application.
A spokesman for GSK said the turbines would have played a significant role in boosting energy efficency on-site and enhanced its prospects of winning further investment at Montrose.
Local councillor David May said he was delighted for people in Montrose and Ferryden who would have been affected.
He said: “I welcome the decision after speaking out against GSK’s application at the planning committee stage.
“I’m delighted for the people in Montrose but especially those in the Barrack Road area and in Ferryden who would have been directly affected by the size of the turbines.
“This would have had an adverse effect on them visually but they would also have been affected by the noise from the turbines.
“The Reporter has gone into a considerable amount of detail on this and he has reinforced the points that I made at the council meeting. I’ve spoken to some of the residents in both areas and they are absolutely delighted at the decision.
“I must stress that GSK as a company has played a significant role in Montrose over the years, not only in boosting local employment and the local economy but what they do for so many local organisations is quite magnificent.
“I’m a supporter in principle of wind turbines but I think the size and the position of them in this case was entirely wrong.”
“As far as I can see I think there are possibilities of having the turbines in a completely different place, away from housing and without disrupting the iconic views of the town,” he said.
The council denied GSK’s planning application for the controversial 132m (426ft) turbines on the grounds of noise and visual impact in August.
The pharmaceutical giant appealed the decision to the Scottish Government in November and a public hearing took place in May before Government reporter Malcolm Mahony.
Mr Mahony said the determining issues in the appeal were: national policy on renewable energy; carbon neutrality and grid independence; socio-economic impacts; landscape and visual impact; comparison with turbines elsewhere; impact on historical and cultural heritage; and noise, all having regard to the provisions of the development plan.
A spokesman for GSK said: “GlaxoSmithKline is disappointed that the Reporter has found against its appeal to enable two wind turbines to be erected on its site at Montrose.
“The turbines would have helped in terms of achieving carbon neutrality in terms of energy used to run the factory and of enhancing its prospects of winning further investment.
“The company will continue to look at ways of harnessing sources of renewable and alternative energy to boost steps it has taken already at Montrose.
“GSK Montrose has already achieved significant savings in energy efficiency through investment in technologies such as combined heat and power and driving hard at using less energy.
“Technologies such as tidal turbines, biomass boilers and photovoltaic devices will continue to be pursued but it has to be repeated that the wind turbines offered by far the best option.”