Barrhead’s local authority must say “no more” to wind turbines according to councillors.
Planning officers were put on the spot by councillors at a meeting of ERC’s planning application committee on Wednesday.
But despite their opposition to any more building of wind turbines, councillors were forced to approve the construction of a new 50 metre unit just outside Neilston – as there was no solid ground for refusal.
The application for a 50 metre turbine near Commore Bridge on Neilston’s Kingston Road was first considered in June, but no decision was taken as councillors instead opted to go on a site visit to the Kingston Road plot of land.
Last month two turbines, also situated near Neilston, were not granted permission because they 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 that meeting, Tory councillor Stewart Miller said that he would take any opportunity to refuse an application for a wind turbine. And his sentiments were echoed on Wednesday when both Tory colleagues and Labour counterparts asked officers when enough would be enough.
Councillor Barbara Grant, for Newton Mearns South, said: “At what point can you the officers turn around and say that enough is enough?
“We have far too many wind turbines in East Renfrewshire and there is no doubt they are having an affect on the visual impact.
“When can the officers turn around and say ‘no more’?”
Her 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 application from Harelaw Wind Turbine Ltd earmarked a plot of land 120m south east of Commore Bridge on Kingston Road in Neilston.
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.”
There are currently 45 turbines already constructed or in the planning process within 5km of Uplawmoor. 24 are operational with 13 approved, 7 applications and 1 appeal. 29 are single turbines and randomly located. They vary in height from 12m to 110m.
Local anti-windfarm activist Aileen Jackson said: “We have more wind farms in this tiny area around Neilston and Uplawmoor than any similar sized piece of land in Scotland. It is ridiculous.
“Furthermore, this application is contrary to Scottish National Heritage guidelines that say two windfarms should not be visible when looking at the other.
“And this is a popular recreational area, the proposed site is right above an area where there is picnic benches and fishermen. I am very disappointed with this decision.”
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