Residents living near a controversial windfarm destined for Perthshire believe they are considered merely “collateral damage” by developers, claims an anti-turbine campaigner.
Graham Lang, chair of Scotland Against Spin, said he feels the decision by Scottish ministers to pass an appeal for a seven-turbine scheme at Tullymurdoch Farm, near Alyth, shows Perthshire is “besieged” by multinational wind speculators.
The Courier can reveal that assistant chief reporter Karen Heywood, appointed by the Directorate for Planning and Evironmental appeals, has agreed to allow the appeal by Douglas Hendry, from RDS Element Power.
Mr Hendry had contended that Perth and Kinross Council had failed to make a decision within the statutory period.
An appeal inquiry and hearing was heard in February and March this year, with several site inspections by Ms Heywood.
The windfarm is one of a cluster in the Alyth area, including Drumderg and the approved Welton of Creuchies. An appeal to grant permission for a windfarm in Bamff was refused by Ms Heywood due to landscape and visual impacts.
In her report, she said the Tullymurdoch windfarm would have little “significant” visual impact on the area overall, which includes on the Cateran Trail.
Ms Heywood believed that there are few properties near the turbines and there would be a limited impact on residential amenity.
But her decision has been slated by Mr Lang.
He said: “Unfortunately, reporters do not have powers of discretion to introduce conditions off their own bat that are not supported by national or local development plan policy.
“Developments are being consented that do not provide adequate protection for householders be they six, 60 or 600.”
He continued: “As this decision shows, people who live near wind turbines and whose amenity will undoubtedly suffer, and whose wellbeing and health may very well be harmed, are no more than collateral damage.”
A spokesman for Perth and Kinross Council said the local authority was disappointed by the decision because it believed the plans were “contrary to current policy”.
Alyth Community Council had taken a neutral stance.
Chairman Sanjay Samani said: “We hope the Tullymurdoch windfarm can bring a positive benefit to our community, as the Drumderg Community Fund has done.”
In her report, Ms Heywood states: “The proposed development would also make a meaningful contribution towards achieving the UK and Scottish Government’s renewable energy generation targets.”
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