By Cheryl Peebles | The Courier | 19 November 2013 | www.thecourier.co.uk
The siting of a wind turbine beside East Fife FC’s stadium has been kicked into touch amid fears spectators could have been killed.
The 265ft structure was to have stood in the car park of New Bayview, in Methil, 148 feet from the football ground.
A warning was issued that catastrophe could have struck if part of the massive column or blades collapsed on to the stadium.
Planning policy dictates that turbines should be situated a distance of their height plus 164 feet from roads.
While turbine collapses are rare, Fife councillors decided the risk was too great to allow the development.
Applicants Ore Valley Housing Association had intended that the revenue generated would be invested in social housing and allocated to the local community, but Councillor Peter Grant said: “If that’s at a cost of a risk to public safety we just can’t accept it.”
Planner James Wright told the central area planning committee that there was potential for turbine failure.
He said: “In this instance it could be catastrophic should anything cause part of the wind turbine to collapse next to a site where large numbers of people gather.”
In Devon in January, a 115ft turbine on a farm collapsed, the manufacturer blaming a fault in how the tower had been fixed to its foundation.
Just weeks after that incident, turbines in Fife and Perthshire suffered similar fates.
At Crail, a 62ft turbine was knocked over and two others were left with bent blades. In Meigle, a similar turbine lost a blade in high winds.
Although the Methil turbine was unanimously rejected, Councillor Ross Vettraino criticised detrimental visual impact being given as a further grounds for refusal, as the site is close to Fife Energy Park and the giant 646ft turbine off Methil shore.
He said: “This is a wind turbine adjacent to an energy park. Where else would you want to see a wind turbine?
“If this turbine is unacceptable because of its effect on the visual amenity of the area, what justification is there for that monster, that so-called offshore turbine?”
Ore Valley Group chief executive officer Andrew Saunders said: “After all the work done, including detailed engagement with the community over a prolonged period of time, we are obviously disappointed by the decision that has been taken, one which we believe will result in a considerable loss for the community.
“We will now take time to review the decision before deciding upon a way forward.”
URL to article: https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2013/11/19/councillors-give-new-bayview-wind-turbine-the-red-card-over-fears-it-could-fall-on-to-football-fans/