Turbines on hold to stage more talks

Turbine plans delayed
Turbine plans delayed

Proposals to erect a number of wind turbines at Fife Council-owned sites have been delayed to allow time to consult with local communities.

Councillors have also demanded more information about how sites were chosen for potential development.

Consultants Phenix Renewable Energy and council officers assessed 50 sites and selected 25 for further consideration, including sites at Kirkcaldy’s Randolph Playing Fields, and Kinghorn, Thornton and Aberdour primary schools.

The other sites were rejected, but a report submitted to the Council’s executive committee this week failed to explain why – and officers couldn’t come up with any satisfactory answers.

The officers’ suggestion of waiting until much later in the process before consulting local people about the proposed wind turbines in their communities was also unacceptable to councillors.

The report had been seeking £10.5 million to invest in the development the wind turbines.

Council leader Alex Rowley said he believed it was right for the Council to explore the potential wind power, which could save millions on energy bills and generate significant.

But he insisted: “Taking the communities with us is crucial. I’m not comfortable with the information provided why sites passed or failed.

‘‘ I’m not comfortable about battering on to the next stage without having the necessary detail or knowing how we will consult.”

Chris Ewing, senior manager (sustainability), said the main reason for rejecting sites was down to wind speeds being too low.

But when it was pointed out the wind speeds on many of the rejected sites were greater than those which passed, he said noise levels and proximity to properties were also taken into account.

Councillor David Dempsey, Conservative group leader, received unanimous support for delaying approval.

He said: “The Council has to learn to do things with communities and not to communities.”