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Planning chief accused of Amulree windfarm ‘mockery’

A council planning chief has been accused of “making a mockery” of the planning process by recommending approval of more turbines in an area described as already being at “saturation point”.

Perth and Kinross Council has received 52 letters of objection over the latest plan to build seven turbines on land north of Calliacher, Amulree.

Residents claim it would lead to loss of visual amenity and have an impact on birds and wildlife.

A 14-turbine windfarm at Calliacher was completed last year, but only after initial refusal by the council and a public inquiry. This led to the Scottish Government granting the application.

Perth and Kinross Council development quality manager Nick Brian recommends approval of the latest scheme, but Amulree farmer Susan MacKinnon feels this makes “a mockery” of the planning system.

“The proposal clearly breaches Perth and Kinross’ development plan,” she said.

“As Calliachar and Griffin spent years going through the planning process, the proposed number of turbines was repeatedly cut.

“Yet suddenly council planners have decided another seven turbines are OK. The landscape, communities and wildlife are at saturation point.”

Linda Holt, of Scotland Against Spin, said: “The recommendation for approval beggars belief – local residents are gutted. Mr Brian argues the turbines won’t make much difference since the area has already been trashed by Calliachar and Griffin windfarms.

“People feel angry, betrayed and fearful. Where will this turbine mania end?”

In his report on the proposal, Mr Brian said he considers the plan has been “carefully designed” to minimise significant adverse effects on the environment.