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West Fife villages zoned as prime sites for wind farms  

Credit:  Gary Fitzpatrick | Dunfermline Press | 30 June 2013 | www.dunfermlinepress.com ~~

The West Fife villages area has been earmarked as a prime location for windfarm developments.

However, local MSP Bill Walker has warned the Kingdom will lose tourist appeal by spoiling picturesque countryside with eyesore turbines.

A report was passed by Fife Council’s executive committee last week endorsing designations for the Kingdom such as “areas of significant protection” and “areas with limited capacity”.

However, a major chunk of West Fife is classed as an area “with highest potential capacity”.

The site is west of Dunfermline, along by High Valleyfield to Kincardine, up by Blairhall, Oakley and to the north and west of Saline, a village which has already opposed a windfarm successfully.

During the consultation process there were eight drop-in information events attended by 400 people with 1779 responses submitted.

There is top-level of protection to the west of Dunfermline and to the north

Mr Walker said, “I’m not a fan of windfarms.

“I don’t think that strategically they answer the electricity generation needs of Scotland or anywhere because of their intermittency.

“You only generate electricity when the wind is blowing and until such times that we can store massive amounts of electricity, windfarms are not the answer over the next 20 to 25 years.

“As I say I’m not a fan of windfarms but that doesn’t mean I’m against individual wind turbines.

“I’m a chartered engineer, have a business background and economically it doesn’t make sense – then on top of that you’ve got the environmental issues.

“The electricity has to be carried through wires along pylons so it’s not just a case of erecting big turbines, there’s the follow-on effects. They need access roads, they’ve very large bases, they’re not carbon neutral – it takes a lot of CO2 to build them.

“Here in West Fife, coal-powered Longannet Power Station gets no subsidies at all, while wind farms get all the subsidies.

“The question I’d ask the council is what is the basis of the map?

“Is it about the wind, the direction of the wind, the relative emptiness of the area?

“If you stick turbines up there it completely distorts the appearance of the area.

“We should always bear in mind the tourism and visitor impact of these things. When I go to Spain I often think that they’ve put turbines up in some odd places and it definitely takes away from the visitor attraction.

“The Scottish countryside is the biggest immediate asset we’ve got in our tourism portfolio. If we muck up our hills, our lochs, our vistas, we will pay the price and for a doubtful benefit.”

Fife Council leader Alex Rowley said, “The report will provide the guidance as to where or where not to build wind developments but any application will be judged on its own merits.”

Source:  Gary Fitzpatrick | Dunfermline Press | 30 June 2013 | www.dunfermlinepress.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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