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Firm pulls the plug on Perthshire windfarm application

A renewables firm has withdrawn a controversial windfarm application that would have seen turbines more than twice the height of the Scott Monument installed in rural Perthshire.

The Braes of the Carse Conservation Group had alleged that the proposed six “massive” turbines would have been “out of all proportion” to the surrounding landscape at Bandirran Windfarm, east of Balbeggie.

Bank Renewables submitted a plan for the 20MW windfarm in January last year, when they stated the development would boost employment and training opportunities near the proposed site.

The wind energy developer has now withdrawn the plan and instead the Windfall Community Development Trust (WCDT) are considering taking an amended application forward to Perth and Kinross Council.

Banks Renewables is considering offering the sale of the proposed development to WCDT to allow the community group to “explore” the ownership opportunities.

Should WCDT decide to take on the project, Banks is proposing to assist in an advisory capacity with WCDT getting all the profits from the windfarm.

Banks Renewables claim they have withdrawn their plan to “facilitate” this process.

Yesterday, Professor John Palfreyman, acting chairman of WCDT, said the group are “excited” at the opportunity for the Bandirran community.

“We are aware of the concerns of locals and planners about the scale of development previously proposed,” he said.

“We are therefore committed to working to resolve these issues as far as possible before deciding to bring forward a community windfarm on this site.”

Colin Anderson, Banks Renewables development director, said: “I am confident that the ongoing consultation with the communities and authorities will continue to develop, resulting in a project that will be of greatest benefit to the surrounding area.

“This development has the potential to be a shining example of community ownership, and is very much in line with the Scottish Government’s recent commitment to bringing community windfarm projects from the margins to the fore and to increase renewables in the Scottish energy mix.”