November 21, 2014

New plan for 14-turbine windfarm on Angus/Perthshire border

By Graeme Strachan | The Courier | 21 November 2014 |

An application has been lodged for a major windfarm development on the Angus and Perthshire border.

The proposed Saddle Hill windfarm – approximately 4.5km north west of Kilry – would comprise up to 14 turbines (2MW) with a height of 115 metres.

Opposition groups are understood to be gathering against the large-scale development. The area around the Saddle Hill site has already been the subject of controversial, failed windfarm bids.

The construction, operation and decommissioning of the proposed windfarm is anticipated to cover a period of up to 28 years, 25 of which will be for its operation.

The windfarm’s construction would take approximately 12 months.

Wind Prospect Developments Ltd, on behalf of EDF Energy Renewables, has submitted a planning application to Angus Council and Perth and Kinross Council.

A full Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was carried out over the past 18 months. The EIA involves an analysis of how the windfarm proposal could impact on the environment, including landscape and visual amenity, recreation and tourism, ecology, archaeology, hydrology and hydrogeology, traffic, sound levels, telecommunications and aviation.

The proposal includes mitigation measures, where necessary, and improvements to the environment.

The results of the EIA have formed a report called an Environmental Statement (ES), which was submitted along with an application for planning permission.

The ES stated the presence of otters and at least four bat species (soprano pipistrelle, common pipistrelle, brown long-eared and Myotis species) was confirmed in surveys.

Possible pine marten presence was noted, along with previous badger presence (one disused sett). However, the ES said “no significant effects” are predicted on any animal species of high nature conservation value or any legally protected animal species.

In total, approximately 81 hectares of commercial forest will be felled as part of the development. There would be a requirement for compensatory planting.

Part of the site is in the Kirriemuir Landward West Community Council area of Angus Council and part in the Alyth Community Council area of Perth and Kinross Council. A newsletter will be sent to residents in the next few weeks to highlight what has been assessed as part of the EIA and provide details on how to comment on the application directly with the respective councils.

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