Wind turbine appeal unsuccessful

Balintore Castle, near Kirriemuir
Balintore Castle, near Kirriemuir

The owner of Balintore Castle, near Kirriemuir, has failed in a bid to stop controversial wind turbines from going ahead.

Dr David Johnson had taken his case to the Court of Session to appeal against a Scottish Government decision to allow two turbines at nearby Carrach Hill, in the belief it would ruin views from the A-listed building, including those from a grand viewing platform.

He had tabled a question in law as to whether Government reporter Dan Jackman was negligent in failing to gather evidence with a site visit, which had been undertaken by a previous reporter.

Balintore Castle was built in 1860 for MP David Lyon, to a design by celebrated Scottish architect William Burn.

The building fell into disrepair in the 1960s but is being restored gradually by Dr Johnston, who has described it as his life’s work.

The Carrach development near Kingoldrum was refused by Angus Council last year but Mr Jackman overrode this to allow the turbines, with 19 conditions attached.

Judges ruled, however, that the reporter’s approach was not “unreasonable” with regard to planning law.

Delivering the opinion of the court, Lady Dorrian stated: “It was a matter for the reporter’s planning judgment whether to make a site visit.

“The question posed in the grounds of appeal is not relevant.

“The reporter carried out an assessment and site visit which complied with the requirement of the Act.

“He did not attempt to visit the property but he nevertheless had regard to all the relevant materials before him in relation to the potential visual impact from the property.

“He took account of the 13 viewpoints considered in the environmental report, which included one adjacent to the castle.

“The decision which he took was open to him on the information available.”

The castle has been listed in the Buildings at Risk Register for Scotland since 1990 and was briefly owned by Angus Council before it was sold on to Dr Johnston.