April 1, 2016

Planners have rejected a plan to build four wind turbines on land near Methven

By Iain Howie | Daily Record | 1 Apr 2016 | www.dailyrecord.co.uk

Proposals for four wind turbines near Methven have been refused.

Councillors were asked to review the Parks of Keillour Farm scheme which could have seen turbines reaching 125m to blade tip erected on a 5.2 hectares site.

These would generate 3MW each, with capacity to supply nearly 5000 homes.

But Perth and Kinross Local Review Body upheld the planning department’s refusal, citing concerns over the impact of the turbines on tourism and on scenery because of their size and proposed layout.

A total of 17 people, believed to live close by, wrote in support of the scheme, with 117 objecting, as well as community councils from Auchterarder to Methven.

Applicant Mike Stamford compared the application with a controversial scheme which was approved at Binn Farm in July last year.

He claimed that his application should have been brought before the development management committee.

He also said that his application was less contentious than that of Binn Farm, with errors made in the handling of the Parks of Keillour application.

Mr Stamford contended that suggestions by consultees to alter the design were not followed up by PKC and that he was unhappy that “unsubstantiated judgements” had been made, with a “desktop-based” assessment contributing to its dismissal.

The LRB met after previously deferring the decision for a site visit.

Member Ian Campbell moved to uphold the planning officer’s decision, saying: “I have got to say, we as a council and LRB have a lot of wind farm schemes put before us, but it is rare to see so few which have had such a big input.”

He added that the turbines would have an increased dominance on the landscape, affecting the visual amenity and integrity.

“In terms of size and dominance, locally and regionally they are too much.”

Ann Gaunt said other schemes such as Mull Hill had been refused and it was consistent to refuse this scheme on the same grounds.

“It would have a big impact on tourism,” she said, adding: “It would be seen from Muthill, Methven, Auchterarder and the Ochils.”

Councillors underlined the statements on visual impact made in the reasons for refusal, including on designated Special Landscape Areas of Glenalmond and Sma’Glen; Upper Strathearn; Ochil Hills; and Sidlaw Hills.

URL to article:  https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2016/04/01/planners-have-rejected-a-plan-to-build-four-wind-turbines-on-land-near-methven/