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Councillors blow away two turbine proposals

Councillors binned two applications for wind turbines near Neilston and said they would take “any opportunity” to refuse an application to erect a turbine.

The decision was taken at East Renfrewshire Council’s (ERC) meeting of its planning applications committee on Wednesday afternoon.

A third turbine application was also considered but no decision was taken as councillors instead opted to go on a site visit to the Kingston Road plot of land.

The two turbines that were not granted permission received notices of objection from the UK Aeronautical Information Service (NATS) which said the 50 metre tall pylons would interfere with air traffic control for Glasgow Airport.

During the meeting, Tory councillor Stewart Miller said that he would take any opportunity to refuse an application for a wind turbine.

He said: “If you give us a reason to refuse it, we will take it.”

His concerns were echoed by Labour councillor Paul O’Kane, who represents Neilston, who said that he believed the countryside was now “saturated” with wind turbines, and that the council had not paid close enough attention to the proximity of the massive structures to each other.

He said: “It is my concern that when you now drive out of Neilston on Kingston Road, the countryside appears saturated with wind turbines.

“They tend to dominate the countryside in that particular area now and the proximity of the turbines to other windfarms is very apparent.

“I think this is something that we should take into greater consideration with future proposals.”

The first application, for the erection of a 50 metre tall turbine to the south west of East Renfrewshire Golf Club was recommended for refusal after the National Air Traffic Service (NATS) and Glasgow Airport both objected to the proposal on air safety grounds.

Glasgow Airport in particular said that it could see no possible way to circumvent the issue.

The applicant, Ogden Renewables of Edinburgh, said it believed there was a theoretical solution, however ERC’s own policy is to “resist” applications which would have an impact on aviation communication of flightpaths.

Cllr Miller said: “We are left with little choice when NATS has an objection to a proposal but to refuse it.”

The second application from Harelaw Wind Turbine Ltd earmarked a plot of land 120m south east of Commore Bridge on Kingston Road in Neilston.

Cllr O’Kane voiced his objection to the application, saying he would “not support” it, while Cllr Miller commented: “I can’t see any reason, as much as I would like to, to refuse this application.”

Conditions were imposed on the applicant, which included a requirement for the applicant to record noise and wind levels at their own expense.

The chamber heard: “If the applicant is found to be breaching the noise conditions outlined in the report then they will be required to take actions to rectify it.”

Cllr O’Kane suggested that a site visit be carried out, which was seconded and passed.

The third application, for a site adjacent to the Greenhags Recycling Centre near Newton Mearns faced almost identical opposition from NATS and Glasgow Airport as the turbine application near East Renfrewshire Golf Club.

Councillors unanimously agreed to refuse the application.