College tie-in with wind farm

Photograph by  PHIL WILKINSON / TSPL copyright 'Tel +44 (0) 7740444373''SUTRA , SCOTTISH BORDERS,''PICTURES OF THE WIND TURBINES ON SUTRA HILL.''POWER , WINDMILLS , ELECTRICITY , GREEN ENERGY
Photograph by PHIL WILKINSON / TSPL copyright 'Tel +44 (0) 7740444373''SUTRA , SCOTTISH BORDERS,''PICTURES OF THE WIND TURBINES ON SUTRA HILL.''POWER , WINDMILLS , ELECTRICITY , GREEN ENERGY
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PLANS to build a wind farm on land at Earlseat Farm, off Standing Stane Road, between Kirkcaldy and Leven moved a step forward this week.

Members of the Kirkcaldy area committee yesterday (Wednesday) gave their views on the proposals put forward by Carbon Free Earlseat Ltd to be considered by Fife Council’s planning committee.

However, as the site straddles three area committee boundaries, the developers will have to wait for the Levenmouth and Glenrothes area committees to give their view before the planning committee can make a final decision.

If approved, the application would see nine 120m high wind turbines erected just north of the A915 Standing Stane Road.

Carbon Free believe the development would be capable of generating 20.7 megawatts of electricity.

Community fund

Developers intend to establish a community fund with £2.1m expected to be contributed by them over the 25 year lifetime of the development.

The applicants intend to enter into an agreement with Adam Smith College to use the fund to provide renewable energy apprenticeship places, with around 150 apprenticeships envisaged over the project’s lifetime.

Elspeth Cook, planning officer, said: “It has raised little concern within the surrounding communities and those letters that have been received raise matters which have satisfactorily been addressed.

Landscape

“The crux of the issue really is the issue of landscape impact.”

Officers are recommending approval subject to conditions including the number of turbines being reduced to eight.

Among the points raised were concerns the plans did not meet policy guidelines on a number of aspects and concerns about the impact and future desirability of the strategic land areas to the north east of Kirkcaldy.

Councillor David Torrance said he welcomed the plans and would be happy if the plans went ahead in line with the recommendation.

Although in favour of the general principles of this kind of development, Councillor Susan Leslie said there were issues raised she felt the committee needed more information about.