By Graham Brown
Parks chiefs have lodged an official objection to a plan to lay cable for a
£6 billion offshore windfarm through land on the world-famous Carnoustie
The 120-turbine Seagreen Wind Energy plan off the Angus coast has been
hailed as a renewables contract bonanza.
However, Angus Council, which owns the links land that hosted the 2018 Open
Championship, has signalled its official opposition to a compulsory
purchase order bid for almost 30 acres of ground on the coast at Carnoustie.
Seagreen wants to bring cabling from the Alpha and Bravo windfarms, almost
30 kilometres out at sea, ashore at the town, before power is carried
across the district to a new substation at Tealing, north of Dundee.
In their letter of opposition, the council’s parks service has said it
fears the cabling work will affect the golf course fairways and tees and
existing flora, and will have a “considerable detrimental effect on a large
number of mature trees”.
“Consideration should be given to routing the cable along the length of the
existing access track on the southern edge of the Buddon Links, minimising
the environmental impact and allowing future maintenance access to the
pipeline without affecting the long term viability and management of
Carnoustie Golf Links,” the council’s statement continues.
Last month, Seagreen described the 1.5 gigawatt scheme as being at a
“critical stage” and said it would be using ploughing as the preferred
method for sinking cables from the start point of their land journey near
the town’s Black Slab car park.
A “spider plough” would to be used for the installation of three 220kV
cable circuits and one fibre-optic duct along around a kilometre of the
consented route through the golf course.
Access for the infrastructure project would be taken across the east coast
main rail line at Barry station and from existing roads within the links.
The parks service objection continues: “The trenching technique will cause
considerable disruption and the combined weights of the plant and
associated vehicles increase soil compaction to the detriment of the
existing soil structure.
“The applicant should demonstrate what consideration is being given to the
long term effects of the works, how these will be negated and over what
Parks bosses have also said the timing of the works will be “critical to
the continuing operation of Carnoustie Golf Links” and have urged planners
to cover that in a condition attached to any approval.
The authority recently established a special sub-committee to keep pace
with developments on the proposal.
If issues such as the CPO cannot be resolved, the application may become
the subject of a public inquiry.