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Residents call for greater protection for Perthshire after windfarm decision  

Credit:  By Mark Mackay | The Courier | 16 May 2014 | www.thecourier.co.uk ~~

With the expansion of the Calliacher windfarm balked for now, there have been calls for greater protections for Highland Perthshire.

Proposals to create an additional seven turbines near Amulree were rejected by Perth and Kinross Council on Wednesday.

Councillors expressed concern that existing turbines were already damaging the region.

There was also significant disquiet about their impact on the environment, given that the new turbines could have been visible from national treasures including Schiehallion, Ben Lawers and the Rob Roy Way.

In the wake of the decision, Strathtay member Barbara Vaughan said that communities need greater protection from the creeping industrialisation.

She called for updated legislation to guide local policy on green energy to be expedited as a matter of urgency.

The Calliacher expansion could yet return, should developer SSE appeal the council’s decision to the Scottish Ministers.

It was by such means that the original 14-turbine farm – which became operational last year after a year of disruption for local communities during construction – was granted permission.

In addition, proposals for a variety of new Highland Perthshire windfarm schemes, amounting to more than 100 turbines, are currently in the planning process.

“I was delighted with the decision of the development control committee to reject the additional turbines at Calliacher,” Ms Vaughan said. “These turbines would have been visible from key tourist spots, such as the King’s Seat in Birnam and Schiehallion.

“Yet more wind turbines can do nothing to attract tourists and are, in fact, highly likely to deter them and so have a negative impact on the many businesses in the area that are dependent upon the tourist industry.”

It was made clear at Wednesday’s meeting that councillors should consider each individual windfarm application on its own merits, without recourse to others that may or may not be brought forward.

Residents said they could not afford such a short-sighted view and questioned the nature of the planning process.

Source:  By Mark Mackay | The Courier | 16 May 2014 | www.thecourier.co.uk

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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