Wind farm developers have now lodged a formal application for five turbines near Fintry.
Force 9 Energy has lodged the proposal with Stirling Council planners for Shelloch Wind Farm on land two kilometres north west of Wester Cringate and south of Ling Hill in the Fintry Hills, 12km south-west of Stirling and 7.5km east of Balfron.
However, the plans could prove controversial, with some objectors already voicing concerns over the impact on the landscape, and one even pointing out the turbines could be as big as some London landmarks.
The Thornhill resident added: “There’s no doubt they would dominate the landscape – the tallest two turbines proposed are the same height as the Gherkin in London; the smaller three are taller than the London Eye.”
The developers say the five turbines proposed are designed to maximise wind yield and increase energy generation from the site and that Shelloch Wind Farm would generate significantly more electricity than a windfarm previously proposed near the site, representing an 83 per cent improvement in productivity and an additional 10,000 houses powered by clean, sustainable electricity.
One Balfron resident has also already lodged support for the application, saying: “Wind farms, such as Shelloch Wind Farm, contribute significantly to reduce the threat of climate change and are much needed.
“The application has considered all of the relevant issues and concludes that there will be minimal environmental impacts associated with the development. Certainly, the environmental benefits outweight the environmental impacts.”
Other objections lodged so far, however, disagreed, with one Dunblane local saying: “At least four wind turbine sites are already located around the city of Stirling and several others are near to villages in Perthshire which already dominate many of the scenic views.
“Stirling tourism will be even more vital to supporting an already fragile economy caused by the financial crash of 2008 and the eventual impact of Covid 19 and Brexit …. thus, protecting the landscape around Stirling is essential if its future, long-term tourism is to be maintained and keep many small businesses, hotels and guest houses in the area afloat.”
Force 9 Energy say communities around the proposed wind farm project in Carron Valley could receive around £120,000 a year for the next three decades if it goes ahead.
The developers say the proposed Shelloch wind farm would be within the Fintry Community Council area with the access route passing through Gargunnock and Kippen Community Council areas, and that their development partner, EDF Renewables, was committed to providing an opportunity for local community groups to collectively have up to 10 per cent community ownership of Shelloch wind farm.
Force 9 Energy have included details of their proposed mitigation measures in documents submitted with the application.
They have said: “Stirling Council and the Scottish Government have both declared a climate emergency within the past year and the Shelloch proposal comes forward at a time when our country is continuing to suffer the most significant economic recession in modern times as a result of measures to protect us from the Covid pandemic. It is therefore vitally important that investments come forward which have the capacity to bring about both sustainable, economic growth and long-term climate change mitigation.”
Kaiya Marjoribanks | Stirling Observer | 29 January 2021