Whilst I personally dislike the current proliferation of Wind Farms in my area, I feel it is up to the local community officials to speak on behalf of the public and to negotiate on our behalf. Although I reserve the right to voice my opinion, it is only an opinion, each of us should make up our own mind based on researching the facts that others have taken the time to gather for us.
For those wishing to read more about Wind Farms and follow the news of Wind Farms around Scotland. These articles are collected and posted on the website: http://www.wind-watch.org/news/category/locations/europe/uk/scotland/
The full articles can be read on the above website and by following their links to the original newspaper reports.
Windfarm ‘benefit’ package criticism
Credit: Fife Today, www.fifetoday.co.uk 30 September 2011 ~~
The firm behind plans for a windfarm near Kettle has been accused of ‘exploiting the hopes’ of young people.
West Coast Energy — which hopes to build seven turbines at Devon Wood — is offering up to six scholarships to Carnegie College for students from Kettle, Kennoway and Star.
But the bursaries will only be awarded if the windfarm receives planning permission from Fife Council.
But in a letter to the Fife Herald, Pittenweem resident Linda Holt blasted the rules that oblige developers to offer ‘community benefit’ in advance of their applications being determined.
Describing West Coast’s bursaries proposal as ‘a PR wheeze that exploits the hopes of youngsters living near Devon Wood’, she wrote: “Many people have questioned developers’ use of community benefit as a sweetener or bribe.
“Companies dangle the carrot of community benefit long before an application is determined, or there is any revenue to hand over.
“This displaces debate about the pros and cons of the development. In fact, it discourages people from voicing their objections for fear that they will be accused of denying a community the promised goodies.
The plans for seven 121-metre wind turbines have proved highly controversial, attracting hundreds of objections — as well as a sizeable amount of support.
Council blocks turbine
Credit: Queensferry Gazette, www.queensferrygazette.co.uk 24 September 2011 ~~
In a turnaround a wind turbine would be proud of, plans for a 77 metre high installation in Bridgend have been rejected.
In June the Journal and Gazette reported that a number of local residents were up in arms about plans from Intelligent Land Investments for a wind turbine on land close to Bridgend Farm. Concerns centred around the location of the turbine, as it would obscure views from homes and from local landmarks such as the Forth Road Bridge andLinlithgow Palace, and local wildlife would be affected…
Giant wind farm ‘by stealth’
Credit: Siew Peng Lee, www.dunfermlinepress.com 23 September 2011 ~~
Wind turbines have put the wind up a Dunfermline councillor, who has called them a “blot on the landscape”.
Bill McCulloch has told the Press of his concern over the “proliferation” of wind turbine applications in the north and west of Dunfermline, claiming that there have been more than 100 applications made or in the pipeline since March this year.
Mr McCulloch said, “Many of these applications are for a small number of turbine or for single turbines but cumulatively it looks like we are getting a giant wind farm by stealth.
“The latest addition in the planning pipeline is an application for four giant wind turbines, each 410 feet high, in the area of land to the north of Halbeath roundabout.
“These turbines will be taller than the Forth Bridge and will dwarf the nearby Hill of Beath!
Councillors knocked back plans for a wind monitoring mast near Crossford last week.
The South West Fife area committee turned down proposals by London-based Partnership for Renewables to put up a temporary 70m (230ft) mast for three years in the Dean Plantation, north of the village.
Planners had recommended approval for the plans, which had received more than 10 objections.
Concerns raised included the mast’s visual impact on the landscape; the impact on recreational users; its contravening adopted and emerging Local Plans; and its visibility from the Dunfermline green belt and other areas.
West Fife Villages councillors were united in their opposition to the mast…
Planning committee approves Earlseat and Westfield windfarm plans
Credit: By Craig Smith, www.thecourier.co.uk 21 September 2011 ~~
Plans for two major windfarms in Fife have won the backing of a key Fife Council committee.
Councillors on the strategic planning committee backed the Earlseat Farm project — which will see eight 120m turbines built near the former colliery by the Standing Stane Road —and a five-turbine windfarm near Kinglassie.
Four letters of objection were received, as well as one letter of support, citing various reasons as to why the proposal should be turned down.
They ranged from landscape impact to the distraction shadow flicker could cause drivers on the busy Standing Stane Road.
Scottish Natural Heritage originally objected over landscape impact but, although it still has concerns, it withdrew its formal objection.
Councillors heard that East Lothian Council had also chimed in, suggesting the views from the coastline on the other side of the Forth could be spoiled.
Meanwhile, five wind turbines earmarked for the former Westfield opencast coal site have been approved amid concerns about safety at a nearby airfield.
Infinis Limited’s plans for five 110m turbines at the redundant coal site, near Kinglassie, were backed after another 8-2 vote.
That was in spite of protestations from Fife Airport and a consultants’ report commissioned by the council itself which suggested the turbines could pose an “unacceptable” threat to pilots’ safety — particularly trainees.
The application has generated 108 letters of objection, 104 of which listed aircraft safety and operational issues relating to the airport as their main concerns.
Aircraft enthusiasts and airport users who objected claimed the hazards to landing and take-off could be “life-threatening”, while others said there would be a significant impact on training.
Kirkcaldy area councillors reach no conclusion on Earlseat windfarm plan
Credit: By Craig Smith, The Courier, www.thecourier.co.uk 25 August 2011 ~~
A major windfarm planned for the outskirts of Kirkcaldy has received a mixed reception from councillors.
Elected members of the Kirkcaldy area committee aired their views on the project earmarked for Earlseat, which could see nine 120m high turbines erected at the former colliery alongside the Standing Stane Road — but they stopped short of either supporting or rejecting the plans.
As the site straddles the jurisdiction of three area committees, Kirkcaldy councillors are the first to have their say on the application — ahead of counterparts in Glenrothes and Levenmouth — before it goes to Fife’s planning committee for a final decision.
However, it has courted controversy, as it would be visible from many towns and villages in central and east Fife.
However, Labour councillor David Ross said he still had “real reservations” about the plans and shared the concerns of Councillor Susan Leslie, who had expressed fears over the impact the windfarm could have on strategic land allocations (SLAs) in the area and the number of “unknowns” that still existed — including what type of turbine will be used.
“We need to keep that quality of environment between the triangle of Levenmouth, Glenrothes and Kirkcaldy but it seems we’re about to put a large and obtrusive industrial development on the site.”…
Company behind plans for 67m wind turbine near Lochgelly say it would be no louder than ‘the noise of leaves rustling in a gentle breeze’
Credit: By Craig Smith, The Courier, www.thecourier.co.uk 17 August 2011 ~~
Plans have been submitted for a 67-metre wind turbine on the outskirts of a Fife village.
Edinburgh’s WRS Spittal Limited want to establish the structure on land near Spittal Farm, which lies between Dundonald and Lochgelly.
The initial plans have already been met with some concern from residents, as the nearest home is only around 500m away from the site, but a spokesman for the developers said they hoped the plans would be viewed favourably and would not go against Fife Council’s planning policies.
“Additionally, the turbine has been located in an area that is not of significant visual or landscape sensitivity,” the spokesman added. “While the turbine will be visible from Lochgelly, Cardenden and Auchterderran and from some local dwellings, these visual impacts are not considered to be prejudicial to the application.”…
Windfarm campaign groups join forces
Credit: Fife Today, www.fifetoday.co.uk 28 June 2011 ~~
Anti windfarm campaigners in north east Fife have joined forces following what has been dubbed a ’tsunami’ of turbine applications.
The East Fife Turbine Awareness Group has been formed by three north east Fife environmental groups involved in campaigns against controversial windfarm applications.
Two of them – Ceres and District Environment and Amenity Protection Group and Auchtermuchty Landscape and Environment Group – successfully took on the German giant Energie Kontor, while the third, Clatto Landscape Protection Group, is currently fighting plans by West Coast Energy for a seven-turbine development near Pitlessie.
In February 2008, a Scottish Government reporter turned down an appeal by Energie Kontor, who wanted to create a five-turbine windfarm at Rossie, near Auchtermuchty.
Then in June 2009 their plans for a windfarm at Gathercauld near Ceres were thrown out by the local area committee.
Graham Lang of Ceres and District Environment and Amenity Protection Group told the Fife Herald that while he did not wish to ‘over-dramatise’ the situation, there had been what one councillor had described as a ‘tsunami’ of turbine applications since September 2009 and since last month the pace had picked up even more.
He explained that the group’s new website, www.eftag.info had been launched as a service to the community at large.
“There is a further difficulty and that is the very limited scope of neighbour notification.
“This is now dealt with by Fife Council.
“Neighbouring land is identified as: ‘An area or plot or land which, or part of which, is conterminous with, or within 20 metres of the boundary of the land for which the development is proposed’.
“Someone could therefore be a very near neighbour to a turbine proposal and not be entitled to be notified.
“An applicant has no legal obligations in this context though a good neighbour should have a moral one.”
The website maps out the sites of applications on the eastern side of the Kingdom that have been lodged with Fife Council between September 2009 and May this year.
A total of 59 applications have been submitted to the local authority, of which 25 have been approved by officials under delegated powers and four approved at committee level, which is required when five or more objections are received.
Another 14 are still to be determined, nine have been withdrawn and just one has been refused.
Mr Lang added that the mapping could also be useful to people considering moving to the area and to agents acting for buyers or sellers where it is important to be aware of any applications nearby that could affect the attractiveness of the property they are selling…
Forestry Commission woods investigated for wind energy potential
Credit: By Leeza Clark, The Courier, www.thecourier.co.uk 22 June 2011 ~~
The potential to harness wind energy in two Forestry Commission woodlands in Fife is being investigated, with three smaller forests also being looked at.
Blairadam Forest near Kelty and Devilla, on the outskirts of Kincardine, are being looked at for larger schemes.
Single turbines could be placed in Cardenden, Carnock and Dean forests under the plans from Partnerships For Renewables, the Carbon Trust Enterprise business set up in 2006 to work with the public sector on renewable energy projects without diverting public sector resources away from frontline services.
Now four new sites are being looked at — as well as Blairadam and Devilla, other sites lie in West Lothian and Slamannan.
PFR is also looking at smaller sites in the central belt which could host single turbines.
As well as the three sites in Fife, Auchlochan near Lesmahagow and Dunsyston ontheoutskirts of Airdrie have been identified, with mast applications being submitted…
West Coast Energy reveals plans for third wind farm in Fife
Credit: By Cheryl Peebles, The Courier, www.thecourier.co.uk 20 June 2011 ~~
A wind farm developer has unveiled plans to erect turbines at a third location in Fife.
West Coast Energy wants to harness wind power with five turbines near Largoward.
The Flintshire-based company already has the go-ahead to build nine turbines at Little Raith, near Auchtertool, and is seeking consent for seven more at Clatto Hill, between Kingskettle and Kennoway.
A decision on planning consent is awaited from a Scottish Government reporter as Mr Pay lodged an appeal when Fife Council failed to deal with his application timeously.
The local authority has recommended the turbines be rejected.
Little Raith is the only commercial wind farm to have been given consent in Fife.
Although planning consent was given more than two years ago, it is yet to be erected.
West Coast Energy’s proposal for 120m turbines at Devon Wood, on Clatto Hill, is yet to be determined by the council and has met with considerable opposition.
The firm recently increased the community benefit fund on offer in relation to that project…
Act now to end the blight of wind farms in our wilderness
Credit: Colette Douglas-Home, Herald Scotland, www.heraldscotland.com 20 September 2011 ~~
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