Community councillors for Thornhill and Blairdrummond have unanimously objected to plans for a new windfarm in the Stirling area.
Force 9 Energy has lodged a proposal with Stirling Council planners for five turbines at Shelloch Wind Farm in the Fintry Hills.
The spot is two kilometres north west of Wester Cringate and south of Ling Hill, 12km south-west of Stirling and 7.5km east of Balfron.
However, some objectors are already voicing concerns over the impact on the landscape.
Although the site falls outwith the Thornhill and Blair Dummond Community Council (TBDCC) area, members say it will be clearly visible from a significant proportion of the council area, and therefore have an effect on the local community.
TBDCC said this week it had been contacted by a significant number of residents from within the local community with concerns, prompting the community council to object on grounds including size and scale, landscape and visual aspects.
They said: “With a tip height of 180m, the proposed turbines are materially larger than the previously consented windfarm at Shelloch.
“The developer’s visual assessment of the proposal shows the proposed turbines prominent well above the skyline of the Fintry Hills, in a dominant position over the landscape. The proposed development would significantly disrupt the horizon and hill edges as seen from the north.
“What the visual assessment cannot show is the effect of movement of the turbine blades. This dynamic effect draws the viewer’s eye towards the turbines, magnifying the effect of the turbines on the skyline.
“The turbines will be visible from significant distances, in excess of 45km. The turbines will be visible from the southern highlands, the Lothians, and Lanarkshire, as well as the local area. Being sited on high ground not only gives rise to this large radius of visibility, but it ensures that the turbines are visible from large sections of the Forth Valley.
“Many local residents note that they have moved to the area specifically for the rural and unspoiled nature of the landscape; this amenity would be adversely affected by the proposed development.”
Cumulative impact with existing windfarms, roads issues and impact on tourism are also cited as concerns as well as potential wildlife impact including on Flanders Moss National Nature Reserve.”
The developers say the five turbines proposed are designed to maximise wind yield and increase energy generation from the site and that Shelloch Wind Farm would generate significantly more electricity than a windfarm previously proposed near the site, representing an 83 per cent improvement in productivity and an additional 10,000 houses powered by clean, sustainable electricity.
Force 9 Energy have said communities directly around the proposed wind farm project in Carron Valley could receive around £120,000 a year for the next three decades if it goes ahead and proposed mitigation measures have been included in documents submitted with the application.
They have said: “Stirling Council and the Scottish Government have both declared a climate emergency within the past year and the Shelloch proposal comes forward at a time when our country is continuing to suffer the most significant economic recession in modern times as a result of measures to protect us from the Covid pandemic. It is therefore vitally important that investments come forward which have the capacity to bring about both sustainable, economic growth and long-term climate change mitigation.”
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