By Rob McLaren

Angus councillors have voted against a controversial wind turbine scheme in
the Angus glens which attracted 67 letters of objection.

The planning application by Greencat Renewables on behalf of landowner
Graeme Richardson sought to install two 225kw turbines just over 47 metres
high on land 605m north west of The Welton.

The site is surrounded by the tops of Brankam Hill to the south west,
Strone Hill to the north west and The Carrach, Mile Hill and Kinclune Hill
to the north east.

The development standards committee previously refused planning permission
for nine 84m wind turbines on the site in August 2012, siting adverse
impact on the landscape and unacceptable visual impact on the occupants of
residential properties.

An appeal was made to the Scottish Government, but the reporter upheld the
council’s decision.

Another application, submitted in 2008 for five 100m turbines, was
withdrawn prior to being decided.

The new plan sought to build two turbines at a lower height and was
recommended for approval by the council’s head of planning and place Vivien
Smith.

Six people addressed the development standards committee against the plans
yesterday.

Dr David Johnstone, who is restoring the category A listed building
Balintore Castle nearby, said the turbines would be visible in the views
from the castle.

He alluded to a report commissioned by Scottish Natural Heritage in
conjunction with Angus and Aberdeenshire Councils called Strategic
Landscape Capacity Assessment for Wind Energy in Angus.

It stated “there should be no turbines in the more sensitive settings such
as Balintore Castle, Ascreavie and Loch of Lintrathen”.

Geoff Hobson, the vice-chairman of Kirriemuir Landward West Community
Council, spoke on behalf of the group against the visual impact.

Dane Henderson, who operates a guest house in the area, said the turbines
would impact on tourists coming to walk.

Rob Collin from Greencat Renewables said the turbines would produce power
to run 250 homes and that the visual impact on Balintore Castle would be
negligible.

Landowner Graeme Richardson said the cost of the turbines would be between
£1.6 and £1.7 million with around half this amount spent on local contractors.

Committee convenor Rob Murray recommended the application for approval and
was seconded by Councillor Bill Duff.

However, Councillor Bill Bowles led an amendment against the scheme and the
plan was refused by 10 votes to three.


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