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Campaigners to fight Perthshire windfarm proposal

Anti-windfarm campaigners are preparing to fight plans for a major turbine development in western Perthshire.

Wind energy specialist Green Cat Renewables has tabled a bid to build nine towers – each taller than the Wallace monument – on land between Comrie and Braco.

A proposal for four turbines at the same site was rejected by councillors eight years ago, amid fears it could have a harmful impact on the landscape.

In its application, the developer says the visual impact of the new Strathallan Windfarm plan will be “broadly similar to the previously proposed four-turbine scheme”.

A spokesman added: “However, the new proposal more than doubles the potential electrical generation capacity.

“It is felt that this strikes a better planning balance between the benefits and impacts of the scheme.”

Opponents are mobilising to block the development. Residents have launched the Say No to Strathallan Windfarm action group to drum up support for their fight.

George Watterson, who chairs the Greenscares Environmental Action Group, which is leading the campaign, urged opponents to lodge their objections with Perth and Kinross Council planners.

“There is a great deal of anxiety in the local and surrounding area about this application,” he said.

“It has been dragging on for so long, I’m sure people have forgotten all about it and probably think it is not going to happen.”

The group’s website states that the Strathallan plan could hit the area’s crucial tourism industry.

“Tourism is an extremely important part of the Perthshire economy and tourists come to see its natural beauty and tranquillity, and not a landscape that is becoming more and more industrial-like,” a spokesman for the group said. “If this natural beauty continues to be compromised then tourists will go elsewhere.”

There are also concerns that the 305ft turbines could affect local wildlife, including red kites, osprey, hen harriers, deer and red squirrels.

In its design statement, Green Cat Renewables said the scheme has been designed in line with best practice guidelines. “As a nine-turbine scheme, as opposed to a four-turbine scheme, it is definitively a windfarm as opposed to a wind cluster, which is keeping with the pattern of development within this part of Perthshire.”

All public feedback must be lodged with the council by November 19 and the application is due to be considered by councillors in the coming months.