An application to develop a new wind farm in the Touch-Gargunnock-Finty Hills near the villages of Fintry and Kippen was this week refused by Stirling Council’s Planning and Regulation Panel.
The proposed seven-turbine Craigton and Spittalhill Wind Farm has been on the drawing board for a few years now and developers Force 9 Energy have been consulting local communities since 2012. Kippen and Carron Valley Community Councils have been objecting to the plans, while the community council from Fintry felt the plans were not unreasonable.
According to the local authority’s panel, the company’s proposals were contrary to the Stirling Local Development Plan Policies. Most of the panel’s reasons for refusal stemmed from the visual impact the proposed wind turbines would have had on the landscape.
In particular, the panel decided that the turbines, which were planned to be 125 meters in height, would have had a “visually dominant impact on the overall scale of the hills” as they were planned to be built in close proximity to the hill edges.
Another issue was the close proximity of other, already existing and planned wind farms – Earlsburn, Earlsburn North and Craigengelt.
Following the decision, Andrew Smith, development manager at Force 9 commented: “We are extremely disappointed with the decision taken today by Stirling Council’s Planning and Regulation Panel to refuse the application especially given that there are no statutory consultees who objected to the wind farm, and the strong base of support from local community groups with whom we have been liaising since 2012.
“We will now take time to review the decision in detail and consider our options going forward.”
Jamie Pearson, chair of Fintry Community Council, told the News: “We were not objecting to the location of the proposed wind farm.” He said in his opinion the plans were not unreasonable, but also noted that the proposed wind farm wouldn’t have had a great impact on the village.
According to the company the wind farm would have had a potential capacity of 21MW.
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