Reporter overturns council's nine-turbine wind farm refusal

A reporter has granted an appeal against the decision of a Scottish council to refuse permission for a nine-turbine wind farm, after he concluded that there would be no significant landscape impacts arising from the scheme.

Wind power: Scottish scheme approved on appeal
Wind power: Scottish scheme approved on appeal

In 2017, Perth and Kinross Council refused permission to landowner Bruce Walker to erect the turbines, of up to 93 metres in height, on land at Braco, near Dunblane due to concerns over the effect on the landscape and tourism.

However, Scott Ferrie, a reporter appointed by Scottish Ministers, concluded this week that the proposed development complies with local and regional planning policy.

His decision letter said: "I consider the proposal to be consistent with the policies of the development plan relating to: landscape and visual impact, including cumulative impact; and impact on cultural heritage assets."

The reporter added that he could not find any impacts "which would adversely affect the quality of the surrounding natural and built environment to an unacceptable degree".

The proposal was in accordance with the Perth and Kinross Local Development Plan, adopted in 2014 and the TAYplan Strategic Development Plan, adopted in 2017, the reporter said. 

No significant landscape impacts would affect the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, the River Earn Comrie to St Fillans National Scenic Area, nor on the local landscape areas and areas of great landscape value within the study area, the reporter concluded.

He also said there would be no impact on the setting of the River Earn Comrie to St Fillans National Scenic Area, Braco Castle, Drummond Castle and Abercairney Gardens and Designed Landscapes.

The inspector imposed 46 conditions on the development, including that it should only operate for a maximum period of 25 years.

In August last year, plans for a 12-turbine wind farm in the Scottish borders that were refused by the local authority were given the go-ahead by ministers following an appeal.

In June last year, a reporter rejected a West Lothian windfarm after concluding widespread landscape harm outweighed the benefit of renewable energy generation from the proposed twelve turbines.

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