Overturning a bid to block a 77-metre wind turbine in Perth is a step towards prioritising the planet, councillors have said.
Perth and Kinross Council’s planning and development management committee rejected proposals for the towering turbine at Aviva headquarters earlier this year.
With a 25-year lifespan, the £3 million turbine, which would power half of the Cherrybank complex’s energy needs, was refused on the grounds that it would spoil residents’ living conditions 350m away, as well as causing noise and shadow flicker from the moving blade.
Historic Environment Scotland also objected to the tower, set to be one of the most visible structures in Perth, impeding on the category-A listed Aviva headquarters.
The local authority’s local review body voted two to one in favour of granting the turbine on Tuesday, saying turbines are necessary to tackle climate change.
Councillor Tom Gray said: “The clock is ticking toward an unstoppable climatic change. It is critical that all communities embrace change from an aesthetics first approach.
“The impact on landscape character and visual integrity can be viewed as a bold statement of intent toward a positive outcome.
“The attractiveness of wind turbines is highly subjective. The only time I am concerned by the scores of turbines near my house is when they are not turning.”
Siding with the SNP elected member was Liberal Democrat Willie Wilson.
He added: “These are challenging and changing times and it’s clear that this does not comply with the planning policy but we are here to provide another view.
“This will be particularly prominent from the motorway but Transport Scotland have not complained. This can be a test case which goes a long way towards improving the company’s green credentials.
“This is going to be prominent, but that’s life. I don’t think it will detract from the surroundings.”
Despite the committee granting the appeal, it must be upheld by Scottish Government ministers, due to the objection from Historic Environment Scotland.
An Aviva spokesperson said: “Aviva is very pleased with the decision by Perth and Kinross Council.
“As a significant business in Perth we take climate change very seriously and we want to do all we can to try to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions.
“The wind turbine will generate over 50% of our annual electricity use, going a long way to make our Perth site fully powered by renewable energy generated onsite.”
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