Fife windfarm group plans to fly blimp

Clatto Landscape Protection Group intends to fly a blimp over the site of the proposed windfarm.

Clatto Landscape Protection Group intends to fly a blimp over the site of the proposed windfarm.

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OPPONENTS of plans to create a windfarm in rural north east Fife have come up with a novel way of demonstrating the impact they believe it would have on surrounding communities.

Clatto Landscape Protection Group is hoping to launch a blimp from the proposed site at Clatto Hill, near Pitlessie, in a bid to show how the seven proposed turbines, which would each measure 121 metres, would be visible from miles around.

Chairman Greg Brown said that the group had asked for permission from the prospective developers, West Coast Energy, to fly the blimp over the hill, but had not yet received a response.

He said that the campaign group disputed the company’s claims that the turbines would be screened by hills and trees.

“There are 114 dwellings within 2km of the proposed site which would be significantly impacted,” said Mr Brown.

“A blimp can be set accurately in position and flown at the exact height of the turbines.

“Then all concerned can see for themselves how visible the turbines would be.

DENIAL

“We are determined to expose what they see as a denial by the applicant of the true impact of the turbines on people living close by, on the landscape, on its wildlife and on its attractiveness to visitors for peaceful recreation.”

A spokesperson for West Coast Energy said: “The landscape and visual impact assessment that accompanied West Coast Energy’s planning application was prepared by professional landscape consultants who ensured its compliance with national planning guidelines.

“None of the guidance recommends flying a blimp to assess visual impacts.

“This assessment has been verified by Scottish Natural Heritage who, in their formal response to the planning application, agreed with the findings and posed no objection to the proposal.

“While we would be happy for an independent landscape consultant to review the assessment submitted with our planning application, we do not believe the flying of a blimp to be a particularly helpful method in assessing visual effects.”