AMEC have submitted their scoping opinion on Fife Council’s planning portal which will confirm if the developer requires an Environmental Impact Assessment for their proposed development. A screening opinion sets out the Council’s decision and gives reasons for it, and is normally issued within three weeks of the request.
Once the local authority has given their decision, a full application from AMEC will be submitted for their proposed development of 6x100m turbines near to Lochore Meadows, situated between the communities of Lochgelly and Kelty.
AMEC are currently engaging with Councillors and Community Councils to seek support for the proposal, and have been very keen to highlight the proposed community benefit for the local areas, hoping that the financials will help sway councillors and community councillors into support for the controversial scheme, even though this is not a material planning consideration.
The reasons for refusing an 80m anemometer mast, clearly states the reasons why an application for 6x100m turbines should also be refused when the application is submitted:
- The proposed development would have a detrimental visual impact on the landscape character, local communities, the skyline and overall appearance of the immediate and surrounding area by virtue of its scale, size and prominent location; and as such would have an over intrusive visual impact which would not be compatible with its rural landscape setting, it would also detract from the visual amenity of the surrounding Local Landscape Area, Lochore Meadows Country Park and Lomond Hills Regional Park. The proposal is therefore contrary to guidance contained in the Scottish Planning Policy (Renewable Energy) (2010), Policies R1 and SS1 of the Approved Fife Structure Plan 2006-2026 (2009), Policies E4, E15 and E19 of the Adopted Mid Fife Local Plan (2012), and the Fife Landscape Character Assessment (1999) document.
- The proposed development would have a detrimental impact on the existing local outdoor recreational amenities/facilities in the Local Landscape Area, Lochore Meadows Country Park, Lomond Hills Regional Park and other community resources of the area, in that the scale, size and prominent local of the proposal would visually detract from the valued rural character of the area enjoyed by those using such amenities/resources. The proposal is therefore contrary to Scottish Planning Policy (Renewable Energy/Rural Development/Open Space and Physical Activity) (2010), Policy ENV7 of the Approved Fife Structure Plan 2006-2026 (2009), and Policies E15, C8 and I1 of the Adopted Mid Fife Local Plan (2012).
- The proposed development would have a detrimental impact on the ecology of the area in particular the Lomond Hills Regional Park, Lochore Meadows Country Park, Clune Wildlife Site and Hilton of Beath Wildlife Site in that it fails to protect Fife’s locally important sites from damaging development. The proposal is therefore contrary to Policies E3, E22 and E23 of the Adopted Mid Fife Local Plan (2012).
If a static object of 80m was rejected on such strong grounds of visual impact, impact on recreational amenities and facilities, and a detrimental impact on the local ecology, then 6x100m swirling objects will surely be refused, based on the historical planning decisions being made at the site. Time will only tell.
We have approached Scotland Against Spin for a donation, which has been approved, so that we can get accurate visual montages of the proposed development. Currently we are selecting viewpoints for the video visualisations, and are currently filming around Lochore Meadows to capture the local scenery and environment.
Meanwhile, Community Councillor, George Elder (Secretary) is working with other Community Councillors to seek an agreement on engaging with Lochgelly residents to get their feedback to form the basis of Lochgelly Community Council either supporting or objecting to the development, on behalf of residents.