Turbine changes will be ‘nightmare’ say lobby group

Samsung Heavy Industries turbine in Methil
Samsung Heavy Industries turbine in Methil

The operators of the 196 metre high wind turbine situated off the Methil coastline have succeeded in having a key planning condition amended.

Councillors at this month’s central area planning committee saw no reason to object to Samsung’s proposal to amend the set levels of background noise that the operational turbine must meet to that of a variable rate which takes into account surrounding conditions.

Since the turbine became operational in October 2013, Samsung have expressed difficulty in meeting the fixed background noise levels which they claim were unduly set too low when the original planning approval was granted.

The committee made no objection to the request but noted that with Marine Scotland about to submit planning applications for two further demonstration turbines off the same stretch of coastline, a condition regarding the cumulative effect of several such operations must be taken into account.

Councillor David Alexander called for a more stringent monitoring from the three fixed monitoring stations and suggested a liaison committee be set up as a means of dialogue with operators.

The turbine has faced opposition from lobby group Scotland Against Spin.

Graham Lang told the East Fife Mail: “The whole point of the application to vary the condition is to allow the turbine to make more noise and so increase its work rate. 

“It has scarcely turned since it was commissioned because it cannot meet noise conditions so it wants to up them. 

“A variable limit based on how much noise Bi-fab makes will be a nightmare for residents and an embarrassment to Fife Council who will be unable to enforce a condition.”