School turbine bid prompts new challenge

A GLENROTHES councillor has questioned Fife Council’s policy on wind farms.

Councillor Ross Vettraino said that despite asking the Scottish Government in June to ban the development of land-based turbines temporarily, less than a week later the town-based local authority submitted a planning application for a turbine at the new Auchmuty High School.

He has asked council leader, Alex Rowley, how the request for a ban sits in relation to the application and the objective to be the leading green local authority in Scotland.

He said: “In an attempt to justify the inconsistency of the council’s actions, councillor Rowley said that the request for a ban wasn’t in respect of all land-based wind turbines, but was only in relation to those where there was no community benefit.”

Saying that he was not satisfied with the response, the Glenrothes Central and Thornton councillor added: “The minute of the executive committee is clear.

“It does not refer to a partial ban.

“Either the minute is wrong, or the council (Labour-led) administration has taken to massaging decisions to cover its failure to think things through.”

Mr Rowley responded, saying the council had never agreed there should be no land-based turbines, but instead wanted to await the outcome of an area search to identify the best places to put them.

“Where it has been proven, like in this instance, that a smaller scale turbine could benefit the local community by generating income ,then we would be in favour of this,” he said.

“We are not talking about an industrial sized structure.

The Scottish National Party is failing ro recognise the benefits that could be brought through community ownership.”

It’s the second controversy to emerge in as many weeks over wind turbines locally.

Kiplun Guernsey, a company which recently completed a major re-furbishment of Kinross House Estate, have threatened a legal challenge to the council’s decision to give the go-ahead for five turbines within site of the historic property, near Kinglassie, claiming it did not know about the development when it bought the site.

The development, at the former Westfield open cast site, has already been contested, during the planning process, by nearby Fife Airport, whose owners claimed that the turbines could interfere with flight paths.

The council vowed to contest any challenge, pointing out that Historic Scotland had carried out a survey and found no significant threat to Kinross House Estate from the turbines..