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Edinburgh Airport concerns lead committee to reject Outh Muir windfarm

Plans for five 360ft-high wind turbines near Knockhill have been rejected after concerns they could be mistaken for low flying aircraft on Edinburgh Airport’s radar.

Fife Council’s west planning committee unanimously refused the planning application for a windfarm at Outh Muir, Cleish Hills.

A total of 615 letters of objection were received as well as complaints from Muckhart, Blairadam and Fossoway and District community councils that the turbines would have a negative visual impact on the area.

Knockhill Racing Circuit bosses voiced their objections, saying the five rotors would be a huge distraction to the users of the race track.

Historic Scotland also objected due to the significant impact on the setting of Dumglow Hill fort and cairn, a scheduled ancient monument of national importance just metres from the proposed site.

Furthermore, the proposed turbines would be visible to the radar at Edinburgh Airport, increasing the risk of masking or misidentifying air traffic due to clutter created by the movement of the turbine blades.

Cowdenbeath councillor Ally Bain said: “The reason Edinburgh Airport refused is that it could have an effect on clutter on their radar.

“Single aircraft don’t fly at that height, especially not 26 miles away from an airport.”

Fife Council service manager and committee lead officer Mary Stewart replied: “It’s fair to say that in some circumstances there are technical solutions which can be arrived at but in this case, we have no technical solution in 
place.”

Stop Proliferation Of Turbines (Spot) Fife chairman Andrew Turner welcomed the decision by councillors, saying: “We are absolutely delighted that both the planning department and councillors on the committee agreed this windfarm would cause serious harm to Fife’s landscapes and refused planning permission.

“People living nearby have had the threat of living with the noise, shadow flicker and overbearing visual impact this wind farm would have brought. Now they just want to get on with their lives without the threat of an appeal.”

A recently submitted application for turbines at neighbouring Blairadam has, to date, attracted 450 objections.