Casebook: Appeal cases - Energy Development - Taller wind turbines supported in scenic area

A reporter has agreed to vary a condition imposed on a planning permission for five wind turbines in south-west Scotland, concluding that the proposed increase in their height would not have a harmful impact on a scenic area.

Permission was granted in 2002 for five turbines with a blade tip height of 53.5m. But the appellants sought to install turbines with a blade tip height of 99.3m, allowing them to install wind turbines capable of generating up to 2MW of electricity apiece.

The council claimed that the increase would exacerbate the conspicuous nature of the turbines, with the turning blades visible over a much wider area. This impact, when taken in combination with a nearby wind farm, would erode the character of the area to an unacceptable degree, it argued.

The reporter noted that the larger turbines would lead to a significant increase in electricity output compared with the approved scheme and would therefore make a larger contribution to meeting national renewable energy targets. Although he could understand the frustration of the council and local residents at being faced with an increase in the height of the turbines, he decided that they would not have an unacceptable impact on the landscape.

DCS No: 30635713; Reporter: Malcolm Mahony; Written representations.

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