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Village blast against tallest wind turbines in Fife

Crossgates Community Council have objected to plans to build the tallest wind turbines in Fife next to the village.

They’re unhappy about Airvolution Energy’s proposals to erect two 131-metre high structures to the east of the M90 and south of Crossgates.

Edinburgh Airport are also against the plan and say the turbines would have a “detrimental effect on the operations of air traffic control”.

The chairman of the community council, Robert Arnott, said, “The residents have been told that it is for the benefit of the nation as a whole that opencast mining had to be carried out, despite them objecting to some sites and causing problems in and around the village, and now we are being told the same thing as regards this application and others regarding wind turbines.

“We think that it is about time that for the benefit of residents, their views are listened to and acted on. This application should be refused.”

Airvolution want to build the two turbines next to junction 2A of the M90 motorway and say there would be a community benefit fund of £23,500 a year for 25 years – almost £600,000 in total.

The company held information events in Crossgates about their proposals and CEO Richard Mardon said, “Our expansion into Fife has come at an exciting time.

“The energy industry, including renewable energy, is one of the area’s key growth sectors. Over 3500 people are currently employed in energy-related jobs.

“It is also exciting for us that East Dunfermline, the area where we are investing in, is identified on Fife’s Local Development Plan as one of four areas identified for renewable energy projects.”

In a letter to Fife Council, Mr Arnott said Crossgates Community Council were concerned about the height of the turbines – taller even than those at Little Raith (pictured) – and that they would be “highly visible” from large parts of the village.

He said residents were also worried about shadow flicker, the “detrimental” effect on the landscape, wildlife and the fact the community fund “would not specifically be for Crossgates”.

Mr Arnott said that, within 2.5km of the proposed site, there were proposals or planning permission for approximately 28 wind turbines.

He said the proposed site was meant to be a ‘buffer zone’ between Halbeath and Crossgates and concluded, “We consider that the size, scale and prominence of these huge turbines are completely unsuitable for this location given the obvious adverse impact on these communities and the designation of the location.”

The application has attracted a number of objections although Dundee Airport, one of the other consultees, has not opposed the plans.

A previous application for four wind turbines, 125m in height, on land to the east of the M90 and north of Crossgates was refused by Fife Council last year.

London-based firm Wind Future Ltd wanted to erect the towers on agricultural land – previously the Kiersbeath opencast mine – between the motorway and the A92.

However, Kingseat and Crossgates community councils, as well as Scottish Power and Scottish Natural Heritage, were amongst the 400 objectors. BAA also opposed the plans after stating the turbines would pose “a very real threat to aircraft safety”.