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Eassie wind turbine plan fails at final appeal hurdle

A final appeal over a contentious Angus wind turbine application has been refused by councillors.

Angus Council officers refused planning permission for a 77-metre turbine at Ingliston Farm, Eassie, due to a “significant” perceived loss of amenity.

Locogen, agents for the applicant William Shaw, appealed the decision and the matter went before the five-councillor development management review committee in Forfar on Monday.

The local authority refused the application by delegated powers, based on loss of amenity for residents, cumulative impact on the Sidlaws along with other turbines, and the effect on burial mounds and a hill fort.

Objectors also wrote to Angus Council over a number of other matters, including perceived impact on the nearby school.

The committee members went to visit the site near Eassie and the A94 Coupar Angus road before making their unanimous decision to back officers.

Councillor Bill Bowles said: “I’d like to thank the drivers for taking us round the site, as the visit was necessary for us to see the cumulative impact (of turbines).

“I support the officers on their refusal. The height and location isn’t that much of a problem because if you’re going to put turbines up, they have to be that way.

“But the cumulative impact with the others that are there? It’s just one too many and you can see a precedent to allow this to spread right along that valley.

“I also have concerns about the existing archaeology that’s there.”

Councillor Craig Fotheringham said: “It’s an unacceptable cumulative impact on the landscape and visual amenity of the site.”

Councillors Jeanette Gaul and Alex King agreed, as did convener Bob Spink.

Major consultee Historic Scotland objected to the development as officer Rory McDonald aired concerns about the turbine’s effect on the setting of three scheduled monuments.

The turbine was to be located 500m north of the Castleward burial mound and 1.1km to the west of the Denoon law fort and Wester Denoon burial mound.

Despite the offer of Locogen to reduce the turbine’s size by 10m, Historic Scotland said the importance of the monuments outweighed national policy on wind energy.

Case officer David Gray noted in his report: “Whilst there is clearly a benefit in producing electricity by renewable means, this should not be at the expense of other environmental considerations or the amenity of those that live nearby.

“In the particular circumstances of this case, the environmental or economic benefit of the production of renewable energy does not outweigh the direct harm that this proposal would cause to the landscape and visual amenity of the area, the amenity of occupants of nearby residential property and the setting of scheduled ancient monuments.

“The turbine is likely to be prominent … and would, therefore, result in significant impacts upon the visual amenity of houses within the small glen.

“Additionally, many of the houses in the vicinity of Eassie and Balkeerie would experience significant visual effects.”