By Iain Howie | Daily Record | 18 September 2015 | www.dailyrecord.co.uk
Perth and Kinross Council has warned the Scottish Government that it has reached the tipping point for wind farms in Highland Perthshire.
And it says there is no way it can accept plans for a massive 25-turbine wind farm earmarked for that area.
The strong message has been sent to Holyrood over the proposed 75MW Crossburns scheme near Aberfeldy.
And, if it is approved by the SNP government, the council says it would “tip the balance” of impact because of the multitude of proposed and operational sites in the immediate vicinity.
Holyrood’s energy consents unit is handling West Coast Energy’s application because of its scale and capacity, and asked PKC for its views.
But in the response, supported by development management committee members, PKC lists a raft of reasons why the 1570 hectares wind farm is too much to take.
In particular, the council’s landscape consultant says the cumulative impact of turbine developments around this area has created a ‘wind farm landscape’.
And the consultant said an assessment in 2010 had established then that Perthshire had “reached capacity”.
“Any new proposal should avoid adverse visual impact on the highly sensitive highland landscapes to the north and west,” the report says, adding “it would appear that the addition of Crossburns Wind Farm within this landscape would ‘tip the balance’, resulting in significant cumulative effects”.
The “wind farm landscape” assertion is used at least twice, with the major Calliacher and Griffin schemes and the planned Calliacher North extension, comprising more than 80 turbines as among the reasons why.
The council’s response also argues that Perthshire has been overburdened with wind farms, including from a study commissioned in 2007 by Glasgow University which says wind farms impacted on tourism, and that Perth and Kinross was one of two worst-hit areas in Scotland because of the developments.
The study showed that the losses caused by wind farms would effectively deny the area money to the tune of £6.3mllion and around 360 tourism jobs for the Big County and its neighbouring Stirling Council area by this year.
PKC also argues that the majority of the turbines are earmarked for a site which was ruled out in the 2008 Calliacher/Griffin planning appeal.
It also highlights the impact on the scenic landscapes around Aberfeldy, Glen Lyon and Loch Rannoch.
But, a note of caution that the objection might prove ineffective was sounded by convenor Tom Gray following the overturning of the Calliacher extension.
He said: “As well all know the (Scottish Government) reporter overturned our opposition to the Calliacher extension, so effectively we could again see a plan like that built against our wishes.”
Three community councils -Dull and Weem, Dunkeld and Birnam and Glen Lyon and Loch Tay- have objected to the scheme over its visual, economic and wildlife impacts, with Scottish Natural Heritage also in opposition.
URL to article: https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2015/09/18/perth-and-kinross-council-argues-strongly-against-further-wind-farms-in-highland-perthshire/