Council planners have recommended proposals for a community wind farm on the the Rosneath peninsula be refused.
Plans for the wind farm, by the Rosneath Peninsula West Community Development Trust, will now be discussed at a public hearing likely to take place in August.
The planners’ recommendation for refusal – subject to the hearing – was contained in a 50-page report before councillors last Wednesday
The proposal is to erect five wind turbines – up to 92.5m high to blade tip – on land at Barbour Farm, Knockderry Farm and Clynder Woodland, Cove. The Trust hopes the wind farm will generate £300,000 to £400,000 annually to benefit the community.
The proposal has generated comments from more than 2,500 people – 1,408 in support at the time of writing – but many of those objecting feared the wind farm would have detrimental visual impact on the upper Clyde area and a knock-on adverse on tourism.
The report from planners says that while a large number of representations in respect of a wind farm proposal is not uncommon, councillors should note that in this case the vast majority of representees reside in Argyll, with a general split between supporters who are largely, but not exclusively from Rosneath addresses, and objectors who are largely, but not exclusively drawn from various locations surrounding Rosneath.
In response, the Community Development Trust say that although it is disappointed at the recommendation, members remain determined to proceed with the application.
Murdo MacDonald, the trust’s convener, told the Advertiser this week: “The reason for this is simply that the benefits to our community are so significant that the project will not be abandoned lightly.
“Argyll and Bute Council is not in a financial position to tackle the issues which face the folk of the peninsula.
“In common with many other rural communities in Scotland, we face problems with a lack of affordable housing, creche/nursery facilities, sheltered housing, leisure facilities, job opportunities, and environmental degradation.
“Cove Community Wind Farm would provide funds to start to attack these problems. We will continue to work in order to be given that chance.
“It is worth noting that a negative recommendation is often rejected by the members of the planning committee. This happened recently in the case of the Allt Dearg Community Wind farm at Ardrishaig and the Waitrose application in Helensburgh.”
Mr Macdonald said it was the trust’s hope councillors would react similarly in the case of Cove Community Wind Farm.
No location has been chosen yet for the hearing, with one possibility being the Victoria Halls in Helensburgh.
However, Councillor George Freeman told the Advertiser he believed Cove Burgh Hall would be big enough and had the advantage of being close to actual site of the proposed wind farm.
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