By Cheryl Peebles

The siting of a wind turbine beside East Fife FC’s stadium has been kicked
into touch amid fears spectators could have been killed.

The 265ft structure was to have stood in the car park of New Bayview, in
Methil, 148 feet from the football ground.

A warning was issued that catastrophe could have struck if part of the
massive column or blades collapsed on to the stadium.

Planning policy dictates that turbines should be situated a distance of
their height plus 164 feet from roads.

While turbine collapses are rare, Fife councillors decided the risk was too
great to allow the development.

Applicants Ore Valley Housing Association had intended that the revenue
generated would be invested in social housing and allocated to the local
community, but Councillor Peter Grant said: “If that’s at a cost of a risk
to public safety we just can’t accept it.”

Planner James Wright told the central area planning committee that there
was potential for turbine failure.

He said: “In this instance it could be catastrophic should anything cause
part of the wind turbine to collapse next to a site where large numbers of
people gather.”

In Devon in January, a 115ft turbine on a farm collapsed, the manufacturer
blaming a fault in how the tower had been fixed to its foundation.

Just weeks after that incident, turbines in Fife and Perthshire suffered
similar fates.

At Crail, a 62ft turbine was knocked over and two others were left with
bent blades. In Meigle, a similar turbine lost a blade in high winds.

Although the Methil turbine was unanimously rejected, Councillor Ross
Vettraino criticised detrimental visual impact being given as a further
grounds for refusal, as the site is close to Fife Energy Park and the giant
646ft turbine off Methil shore.

He said: “This is a wind turbine adjacent to an energy park. Where else
would you want to see a wind turbine?

“If this turbine is unacceptable because of its effect on the visual
amenity of the area, what justification is there for that monster, that
so-called offshore turbine?”

Ore Valley Group chief executive officer Andrew Saunders said: “After all
the work done, including detailed engagement with the community over a
prolonged period of time, we are obviously disappointed by the decision
that has been taken, one which we believe will result in a considerable
loss for the community.

“We will now take time to review the decision before deciding upon a way

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