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Plan to build wind turbines at West Fife schools delayed  

Credit:  Dunfermline Press | 11 Dec 2013 | www.dunfermlinepress.com ~~

Controversial plans which could see 11 wind turbines built on council land across West Fife have been put on hold.

The plans could see kids playing under 45.5-metre (150ft) turbines being built at schools, sports facilities and car parks, including Dunfermline Public Park, Pitreavie playing fields and Halbeath Park and Ride.

Phenix Renewable Energy had carried out a feasibility study of 51 potential locations for Fife Council, with 25 identified as ‘primary sites’ for turbines to be developed at £10.5million.

Of the 25 sites, 11 are in West Fife (see box) and screening applications have already been registered.

Officers had recommended approval of the funding but that’s now been delayed after councillors expressed concerns over the lack of information available on public consultations for the individual sites.

The cash would have comprised £5.5million from council balances with the remaining £5million coming from the climate change capital plan.

Fenella McEwan of the council’s climate change and zero waste team, said,

“The wind projects present an early opportunity for renewable energy development on the council estate.

“There would be direct energy cost savings and a new net income stream arising from sales of surplus electricity and government subsidy.

“The projects have the potential to deliver £28.3million in net operating income and 83.600 tonnes of carbon emission reductions over its life.”

Inverkeithing councillor Dave Dempsey told the Press that Fife Council had to “learn to do things with communities and not to communities”.

The Tory group leader added, “The council team taking forward this project are keen to get on with it but they’ve not taken the opportunity to consult with those who’ll be most affected.

“They looked at 50 sites and rejected 25; we’re not told why.

“They rejected the vertical axis ‘egg-beater’ type of turbine in favour of the more usual and more obtrusive windmill; we know that the ‘egg-beater’ generates less power but would it still be the right choice in particular locations?

“They provided no information on proximity to houses; there are planning guidelines on this and we should be told what the implications are before decisions are made.

“Most of all, they haven’t yet engaged with the communities concerned.

“People want to hear the detail and make their minds up once they know the facts.”

The head of asset and facilities management has been asked to report to committee in January on the issues raised.

Source:  Dunfermline Press | 11 Dec 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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