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Developer fails to force Forfar golf course wind turbine rethink

An appeal over plans to build a 250ft wind turbine on an Angus golf course has been refused by the Scottish Government.

Just days after plans to erect a single turbine near the 10th hole of the Cunninghill Golf Course in Forfar were refused, the developer behind the project asked the Scottish Government to overrule the decision.

Harmony Energy filed an appeal with the Directorate for Planning and Environmental Appeals in a bid to save the project, which council officials argued would have unacceptable prominence in the landscape and be too close to housing.

But Brechin architectural firm A Craig’s application on behalf of its client has been refused on the grounds government reporters have “no remit” to consider the case as the appeal was out of time.

The firm had been unable to negotiate a time extension with the council in order to validate the Scottish Government appeal.

Council officials had been accused of delaying the proposal as their final decision was not made until six months after the local authority’s self-determined deadline.

Members of the golf club were divided on the idea of installing a turbine so close to the course, yet the plans were eventually agreed upon after developers convinced the club the electricity produced would “improve the viability and sustainability of course members and the community”.

Not everyone in the club was happy with the decision.

“This was something for an industrial site, not a golf course,” said former club president Ewan Callander, who wrote to the council in objection of the proposal.

“To have a big turbine like that swishing about your ears on the course would not have been a good thing.”

Secretary Stuart Wilson said the club agreed investment in a turbine was a good long-term project for the club – and said members were quite happy to place the project “in the hands of the developer”.

Last week, planning officer David Gray finally refused the plans, highlighting “unacceptable and unjustified loss of existing woodland” as being one of many key issues surrounding the plan.