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Windfarm plan for hills set to spark a storm weeks after Ryder Cup praise  

Credit:  Laura Paterson | The Herald | 22 October 2014 | www.heraldscotland.com ~~

Plans for a 25-turbine ­windfarm in the Ochil Hills have emerged just weeks after images of the picturesque landscape were beamed around the world from the Ryder Cup.

Tourism chiefs claim the golf tournament could bring more than £82 million into the economy, but campaigners fear the 415ft high turbines will ruin the landscape and scupper the expected tourism boost.

The windfarm would be the largest in a region already home to several sizeable wind energy developments.

Developer PNE Wind Ltd wants to install as many as 25 turbines of up to 415ft high in the hills. Its North Hill windfarm scheme is being brought forward in conjunction with the Forestry Commission Scotland.

David Gibson. chief officer of the Mountaineering Council of Scotland has branded the development “ill-advised”.

Objecting to the plans in a letter to the developers, he wrote: “We consider North Hill to be a particularly egregious and ill-advised proposal.

“This would be a significantly larger windfarm, with significantly larger turbines, than any existing in the Ochil Hills.”

He also noted that the location, four miles south of the village of Dunning, overlapped two previous windfarm application sites, both of which were refused planning permission.

Culminative impact could prove to one of the key issues in deciding whether the new scheme is approved because the 21-turbine Burnfoot Windfarm, 18-turbine Lochelbank Windfarm and 12-turbine Green Knowes Windfarm are all within a six-mile radius.

A Gleneagles Hotel spokeswoman said bosses at the hotel and resort had recently become aware of the windfarm plan and the implcations were being considered.

A spokesman from PNE Wind UK said: “The proposals are at a very early stage and we will be working closely with key stakeholders and the community to ensure we can deliver a windfarm that is sensitively designed to the natural features of the site.”

The firm says the scheme could generate up to 62.5MW of energy. Details are on its website at www.pnewind ukforestry.co.uk

Source:  Laura Paterson | The Herald | 22 October 2014 | www.heraldscotland.com

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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