Developers disappointed

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THE group behind plans to build a wind farm at Carrach Hill on the outskirts of Kirriemuir has confirmed it will assess the options available after Angus Council rejected its application last Tuesday.

The local authority’s development standards committee decided the nine 800kw wind turbine development, planned for a site near Kingoldrum north of the B951 between Kirriemuir and Glen Isla, was unacceptable in terms of the visual impact it would have on the county’s landscape.

The site includes the summits of Welton and Kinclune hills and part of Mile Hill between Kingoldrum and Lintrathen.

Councillors also turned down the Corse Hill proposal for a wind farm for the coast line between Arbroath and Carnoustie.

Despite receiving a recommendation for approval by council planners, members of the committee turned down the medium scale Carrach Hill proposal by eight votes to three.

The decision followed a lengthy period of development and consultation with local communities since 2009.

Last year a survey showed that 57% of respondents supported the project compared to 35% who objected.

Letters submitted to Angus Council in response to the planning application were balanced with 64 letters against and 63 in favour.

After the meeting last Tuesday Graeme Richardson, one of the partners behind the project who also lives on the site said: “We are very disappointed with the decision Councillors have made today, especially given the strong support for the project we have received from agencies, planners and many local people.

“We worked very hard to listen to different points of view and I don’t think we could have done anything more to create a project which is appropriate for this area.”

The partnership is awaiting the detail of the council decision before looking at options which is expected to take a month.

The Carrach refusal went against a report by Eric Lowson, director of infrastructure services, who recommended conditional approval.

Councillor Jeanette Gaul moved to block the scheme on landscape and residential inpact grounds.

A number of objectors spoke out against the plan with Kirriemuir councillor Ronnie Proctor adding: “Angus is one of the most beautiful, iconic areas of Scotland.

“I would hate to think that our county, and the Vale of Strathmore in particular, becomes the valley of death, blighted on the north and south by wind farms.”

Moving refusal councillor Gaul said: “These turbines will be seen from the Angus glens, Coupar Angus, Newtyle, Kirrie Hill and the list goes on.

“I have concerns about the impact and this is quite significant and very close to people living in the area.

“This is quite unacceptable, not only for this area but Angus as a whole.”