Windfarm campaigners pledge to keep up fight

Wind turbines remain a source of controversy.
Wind turbines remain a source of controversy.

CAMPAIGNERS have vowed to ‘fight on’ after the companies behind two rejected windfarms on Clatto Hill appealed the decisions.

West Coast Energy and Green Cat Renewables, which applied to erect seven and three 100-metre turbines respectively, have lodged appeals with the Scottish Government’s planning directorate.

The proposals for windfarms at Devon Wood and Clatto Farm were thrown out by councillors in March following a long-running campaign by Clatto Landscape Protection Group (CLPG).

Steve Salt, planning and development director at West Coast Energy, said the firm had “carefully considered” the reasons for refusal before deciding to appeal.

He added: “One of Fife Council’s core ambitions is to make Fife the leading green council in Scotland, and indeed they have stated the ambition to create 2000 green energy jobs in Fife by 2012.

“We believe the Devon Wood development would make an important contribution towards these aims and ambitions.”

If granted approval, West Coast Energy has pledged to provide six college scholarships for local students, as well as a financial benefits package for the community.

Cedric Gerbier of Green Cat Renewables said: “We were disappointed that the council refused the application despite the council’s professional officers recommending approval in line with the relevant policies and being sited in an area of search for this scale of wind development.

“We still believe that this development would not have a significant impact on the landscape nor recreational interests.

“Renewable energy is an increasingly important part of farm incomes and, of course, the needed shift away from ever more expensive fossil fuels.”

A spokesperson for CLPG said the group was “extremely disappointed” by the appeals.

They added: “These decisions [to refuse planning permission] were supported by almost all councillors in three different council committees.

“It shows scant regard for the councillors and local democracy on the part of the appellants that they now look to a government civil servant to overturn the decisions.

“There are different ways a Scottish Government reporter may handle those appeals. CLPG believes it would be in the public interest to have a full public local inquiry.

“CLPG intends to fight on to help have the refusal decisions upheld.”