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Key public spots may host huge turbines

Public parks, leisure centres and schools could become homes for giant wind turbines under controversial new proposals unveiled by Fife Council.

The ambitious plans, to be detailed to councillors this week, have identified five initial sites that could accommodate turbines measuring up to 77 metres high.

Inverkeithing High School, Dalgety Bay Leisure Centre, Halbeath park and ride, Cotlands Park in Kennoway and Pitreavie playing fields in Dunfermline have all been recommended as candidate sites, with local authority officers keen to proceed with planning applications.

The project has been proposed as a means of slashing Fife Council’s energy bills, which already cost £13 million a year and are expected to top £20m by 2020.

However, the prospect of turbines appearing in prominent public places is likely to prove controversial in some quarters, despite the council’s need to fill a £92m void in its finances.

Chris Ewing, the local authority’s sustainability senior manager, has warned that details will be crucial should the project be allowed to proceed.

“The council spent £13m on energy bills in the last year and projects like this one have the potential to generate income for the organisation at a time of financial challenge,” he said.

But careful consideration has to be given to them at every stage of the process.”