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Campaigners promise to fight ‘jumbo jet’ wind turbines plans for Angus glens  

Credit:  By Graeme Strachan | The Courier | 1 December 2014 | www.thecourier.co.uk ~~

Almost 100 outraged campaigners have promised to fight plans for 14 wind turbines “the size of jumbo jets” in the picturesque Angus glens.

A committee has now been formed to object to the application, which has been lodged on the Angus and Perthshire border.

The proposed Saddle Hill windfarm – almost three miles north-west of Kilry – would comprise up to 14 turbines (2mW) with a height of 377ft.

Wind Prospect Developments say visual and environmental impact will be “carefully considered” for the site, which has already been the subject of controversial, failed windfarm bids.

The campaigners do not want to see 81 hectares of commercial forest felled and chairman Mike Morris said the community is “viscerally opposed” to the development.

A petition has already gathered hundreds of signatures following a meeting which was attended by 97 people.

Mr Morris said: “The size of the blades exceeds the wing span of a jumbo jet. Imagine 14 jumbo jets spinning on the skyline in one of our beautiful Angus glens.

“The glens are already under siege by windfarm developers and other sites at various stages of evolution are Tullymurdoch, 
Cottertown, Greenburn, Welton of Creuchies, Carrach, Cormaud and McCritch.”

“There was a meeting of the local community earlier this year, attended by 97 people. Ninety-six were opposed to the Saddle Hill development and one was undecided.

“A committee was formed to coordinate the community’s opposition. There are about 900 tourist beds in the area and tourism brings revenue and employment to the glen.

“Three surveys over the past few years have shown increasing effect of windfarms on tourism with the latest by MCoS 2014 showing about 25% of people were ‘unlikely to return’ because of windfarms.

“How many businesses can survive a 25% cut in trade?”

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

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.

The windfarm’s construction would take approximately 12 months.

Mr Morris added: “The proximity of the Cateran Trail will also be badly affected and we have had many of those who walk the trail decrying the proposals.”

He said there were also concerns about the impact on the local community of heavy traffic for at least a year.

Objectors are also concerned about the impact on the environment, on established and rare wildlife, ancient historical sites and the destruction of peatland and moorland.

A full environmental impact assessment was carried out over the past 18 months to consider any environmental issues over the design of the project.

Wind Prospect Developments Ltd is keeping the public updated on a website and said initial investigations suggest the proposed site is suitable for a wind energy development.

It said: “The design will be shaped by environmental sensitivities identified in our surveys and the feedback we receive from consultees including the local community.

“The landscape and visual impacts of the development will be carefully considered from a variety of viewpoints in the vicinity of the site, in consultation with Scottish Natural Heritage and the respective council’s.

“Further investigations will take into consideration the wide range of environmental and technical criteria… These criteria will be subject to comprehensive assessments as part of the environmental impact assessment for the proposal, and will feed into the design of the windfarm.

“The landscape and visual impacts of the Saddle Hill windfarm proposal are carefully considered from a variety of viewpoints in the vicinity of the site, chosen in consultation with Scottish Natural Heritage and the respective councils.”

Source:  By Graeme Strachan | The Courier | 1 December 2014 | www.thecourier.co.uk

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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