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Forfar golf course turbine bid thrown out  

Credit:  By Graham Brown | The Courier | 26 June 2014 | www.thecourier.co.uk ~~

A proposal for a 250-foot wind turbine on Forfar golf course has been thrown out.

Developers behind the scheme, which divided the club membership, have confirmed they now intend to appeal the decision after expressing their double disappointment over the outcome of the bid and the length of time Angus Council took to determine the matter.

The company behind the proposal for the single turbine near the 10th hole of the Cunninghill course also said it was unhappy that the plan had been thrown out under delegated powers, denying them the chance to have their say to councillors.

But others have welcomed refusal of the “ridiculous” plan.

In a decision released by the authority, officials said the turbine would have an unacceptable prominence in the landscape and would be too close to housing.

It would have reached 50 metres to hub and 77 metres to blade tip, and been capable of generating 500KW.

The refusal also said it would breach policies in terms of the “unacceptable and unjustified loss of a significant proportion of the existing woodland”, and criticised the applicant firm for failing to provide enough detail on issues such as landscape and visual impact.

The turbine plan was agreed at a general meeting of the golf club last September following an approach by Harrogate-based Harmony Energy.

However, the scheme split opinion, with some members warning there would be an exodus of players if the turbine was built to the south of the 10th hole.

Forfar Community Council also lodged an official objection to the plan on the grounds of the visual impact the structure would have.

But there was support from some of the golf club membership and beyond for the scheme, which the club said was part of a drive to slash its energy bill.

Last month, Paul Kavanagh of Harmony Energy criticised planners for the delay in determining the application and he told The Courier of his double disappointment at the outcome.

“We actually went for an appeal, I think last week, on the grounds of non-determination because we hadn’t had a decision,” he said.

“For the last few months the council kept on saying that the decision was on its way and we got fed up waiting.”

Mr Kavanagh added: “Obviously we are now disappointed with the refusal decision which has been taken under delegated powers.

“I would have hoped, as in virtually all of our other cases, that we would have had the chance to go to committee and put our case forward.

“Given the level of public interest in this application it is surprising that a delegated decision has been made.

“Our consultant went back to the council on the issue of lack of detail, and looking at the published documents, it is very clear that we try to avoid the destruction of natural habitat where we can.

“Other cases we have lost have come down to visual impact, which is a very grey area – does the benefit of the turbine outweigh the visual impact?”

Golf club managing secretary Stuart Wilson said: “The turbine proposal was put through at a general meeting of the club and for us was a long-term project.

“Once we had agreed to go ahead with it the application was in the hands of the developer and we will now have to discuss the decision with them.”

Former club president Ewan Callander said the refusal decision was the right outcome for a “ridiculous” proposal.

“This was something for an industrial site, not a golf course,” he said.

“To have a big turbine like that swishing about your ears on the course would have not been a good thing, and I can’t think of any other golf course which has one.”

Source:  By Graham Brown | The Courier | 26 June 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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