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Opposition grows to Arbroath malt firm’s turbine proposal grows

Opposition is rapidly growing against a malt firm’s bid to put up a turbine at its Angus plant.

Residents, the Ministry of Defence and the council’s countryside officer have all raised concerns against the application.

Bairds Malt has 57 Angus employees and has supply contracts with more than 1,000 farms, 230 of them spread throughout the region.

The energy consumption of the plant on Elliot Industrial Estate in Arbroath costs Bairds Malt £2.5 million per year in bills.

The company believes a single turbine will safeguard jobs and significantly reduce the electricity consumption of the plant.

Shane Bibby lives across the street from the proposed site and said the company should reconsider the turbine plan.

He said: “I find it ridiculous that this is even being considered adjacent to a residential housing estate.

“I also believe this wind turbine will have a serious detrimental effect on property values.”

Another resident, Christopher Moore, said it was “unthinkable” to allow the project to go ahead.

He said: “It was made plain at the public consultation that people were horrified at the notion.

“It is not fair that householders should suffer for commercial gain.”

Fred Crowe said the application was “ridiculous” and the view from his garden would be “intolerable”.

“The racket already coming from the site is unbearable and will only get worse,” he said.

“No resident in the area will gain anything from the turbine and as far as I am aware only the builder will benefit.”

Graeme Cargill said the current background noise levels from the factory “are more than enough to deal with during peak processing times”.

“A potential 24/7 365 days per year increase in noise levels is totally unacceptable,” he added.

“The noise from these turbines will be detrimental to my health and enjoyment of my property.”

The Ministry of Defence has objected on the grounds that the turbine would cause unacceptable interference to RAF Leuchars radar systems.

The council’s countryside officer Paul Clark said the turbine would likely have a detrimental impact on the amenity of a nearby path.

He said: “The movement of turbine blades in close proximity to the path may also be intimidating to some users.

“The proposed relocation of the path, to provide a separation distance equivalent to the blade tip height, will help make the proposed turbine less intimidating to path users.

“Detouring the path from its current straight line, and creation of high security fencing over the current path line, will however break up the visual integrity of the path and give an overall more industrial feel to the path setting,” he added.

The proposed single turbine would be situated on the south-west corner of their site, with a height of 252ft to tip.

The installed capacity of the turbine would be 900kW, which would produce in the region of 2.3GWh per year – the equivalent of the annual energy usage of around 500 homes.

Bairds Malt first announced the plans for a medium-sized single turbine in summer 2013 and invited residents to two information days at the plant to answer any questions.