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Ark Hill windfarm facing possible breach of planning control  

Credit:  By Damon Rhind | The Courier | 5 March 2015 | www.thecourier.co.uk ~~

A planning contravention notice has been served on the biggest operational windfarm in Angus.

Angus Council served papers in relation to Ark Hill windfarm, near Glamis, over a possible breach of planning control, on Green Cat Renewables and Strathmore Estates, on whose land the farm sits.

A senior planning officer contacted Green Cat Renewables last November to formally request they carry out further monitoring of the noise impact of the turbines and report back to the council, in line with planning conditions.

However, a letter from a council enforcement officer stated that Angus Council had not received the revised assessment within the required timescale.

It said that: “It is considered that there may be compliance issues with noise conditions of your planning permission in relation to the noise impact of the turbines.”

The council missive warned that failure to comply with the request and meet the conditions of planning permission to the authority’s satisfaction amounted to a breach. Any absence of confirmation that operational noise levels were within agreed levels may also amount to a breach of planning control.

A council spokesperson said: “We received a complaint that the wind turbines at Ark Hill exceed noise limits set by conditions attached to the planning permission.

“We are in discussions with the operator, who has indicated a willingness to undertake additional noise monitoring.”

Last month, the Courier reported that Angus Council had launched an investigation following a complaint about noise at Ark Hill windfarm, at Glen Ogilvie, where there are eight turbines measuring 266ft.

The local authority said no notice had been served at that time but that the possible breach of conditions was “pending consideration”.

A planning contravention notice is used to obtain information about activities on land where there may have been a breach of planning control. Those who receive such a notice are required to provide certain information within 21 days about the land and its use, as well as matters relating to planning permission that has been granted, or is being sought.

Two weeks ago, Green Cat’s Cameron Sutherland indicated the company was working with council officials and expected monitoring to start in March, adding that it may be April until a report was available.

Contact was made with Green Cat but Mr Sutherland had not responded at the time of going to press.

Planning permission for Ark Hill windfarm was granted in February 2009, with conditions that the finished scheme would not exceed certain noise levels.

The breach allegation related to noise profile “curves” at Chamberwells, Nether Handwick and Wester Denoon.

Noise levels should not exceed 35 decibels at these areas, where wind speeds are up to 10 metres per second at 10 metres from ground level.

Source:  By Damon Rhind | The Courier | 5 March 2015 | 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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