Council turbine plans generate opposition from campaigners

Wind turbine
Wind turbine

A national anti-windfarm campaign group has slammed Fife Council for “hatching secret plans” for huge turbines on local authority sites.

But Council leader Alex Rowley has defended the plans, saying they could lead to a reduction in the authority’s energy costs and generate income for investment in local communities.

The Council has submitted 25 screening applications for turbines at sites including ones in Burntisland, Aberdour and Kinghorn, and in other locations in central Fife.

Scotland Against Spin has blasted the plans, saying the proposed turbines were much bigger than originally indicated.

Linda Holt, the group’s Fife spokeswoman, said: “In March, Cllr Rowley said the Council was launching feasibility studies for very small turbines between five and 20 metres in height and that it was really important the right sites were found.

“The smallest of the proposed turbines is 26.55m, with most considerably larger.

“Anyone who knows Fife or has an ounce of planning knowledge will see that most of these sites are utterly wrong. Industrial turbines and people do not mix and the last places they should be put is by schools or in parks.”

The proposal to develop small wind turbines on Council land was agreed by councillors on the executive committee in March this year.

Cllr Rowley said detailed feasibility studies had been carried out to try to ensure the proposed turbines were put in the right place, but they would still have to go through the planning process.

He added: “The plans have the potential to generate millions of pounds additional income for the Council at a time when it is facing a period of big challenge and change. We should be looking at ways to make the best use of resources and the potential to generate new income.

“But any decision to invest in these proposals would require approval from Executive Committee. I’d like to make it clear the council has no plans to develop large wind farms which we know are the type of development that give great cause for concern for our communities.”

Proposals include:

Land Adjacent To Beacon Swimming Pool, Burntisland (26.55m).

Kinghorn Golf Club (34.6m).

Michael Woods Sports And Leisure Centre, Glenrothes (45.5m).

Aberdour Primary School (34.6m).

Lochgelly High School (34.6m)

Fife Council Bankhead Central, Glenrothes (34.6m).