Plans to construct giant wind turbines in the hills between Largs and Skelmorlie have been revealed.
Concerned community councillors discovered the proposal for the string of 150m structures between Outerwards Farm and the south east of Skelmorlie while look into the apparent disappearance of what they say is a historic Roman road from the plans.
Chairperson Helen Boyle says they have now called on North Ayrshire Council to step in and investigate.
She said: “It has come to our attention that the ancient registered road that crosses the proposed windfarm site has either been removed or buried on these plans.
“We have received correspondence from the developers Burcote Wind which claims that there is no surface evidence of any Roman activity.
“It is important that people are aware that these are large turbines that will be built near to Largs – and I feel that many will also be concerned about the possible loss of the area’ Roman heritage.
“Our recent community council meeting on the subject saw a big turnout.”
The community council has now lettered North Ayrshire’s planning department calling on them to investigate the loss of the Roman road.
Senior development planning officer for North Ayrshire Ian Davies said: “West of Scotland Archaeology Service have advised that the registered road should be seen as indicative only and not a guarantee that a road existed or was in this location.
“They consider it is likely that there may be Roman features in the area but more investigations are required.
“Should an application be made then issues such as impact on archaeology will be considered.
“If permission were granted, conditions requiring further archaeological investigations could be added to any permission.
“There is also, of course, no guarantee that planning permission would be granted.”
A spokesperson for the developers say they will engage fully with the community before taking any proposals forward.
They added: “The location was selected as part of a nationwide search for potential wind farm sites and commitment to increase the amount of electricity generated from renewable sources is a vital part of the response to climate change.
“Two assets, possibly Roman roads are recorded on the site by West of Scotland Archaeology Service.
“The first potential road extends from south west to north east along the south east boundary and then continues to the north past the scheduled outwards fortlet. The second possible road extends north west from the first crossing. Both these potential roads were last documented in 1971 and no recent records are available.
“We will undertake consultation using various methods including meetings with key stakeholders and near site neighbours, leaflets/newsletters and public exhibitions.
“A dedicated project website will be set up and there will be at least two public exhibitions as part of the community engagement process to assess public opinion.”
Skelmorlie Community Council are encouraging the public to come along to their last council meeting of the year on 25 November at 7.30pm where the wind farm proposal will be discussed.
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