Bairds Malt appeals turbine decision

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A company has launched an appeal over the refusal of planning permission for a wind turbine which objectors claim would ruin the view of Arbroath Abbey.

The proposed turbine would have been on the south-west corner of Baird’s Malt’s Arbroath malting plant, with a height of 252 feet - over 30 foot higher than the national Wallace Monument.

Prior to the refusal by Angus Council, the authority’s countryside officer, Stewart Roberts, warned the proposed turbine would adversely affect the setting of Arbroath and landmarks such as the historic abbey.

The report also stated that the single turbine at Bairds Malt on Elliot Industrial Estate would “dominate houses and have an overbearing effect”.

The proposed turbine was refused under delegated powers following 141 letters of objection.

Today (Monday) Baird Malt claimed any effect on historic vistas of the Abbey, where Bernard of Kilwinning, then Chancellor of Scotland and Abbot of Arbroath wrote the Declaration of Arbrotah, were “unavoidable but not unacceptable”, and insisted it had “a strong appeal case”.

Richard Broadbent, technical director at Bairds Malt, said: “We were disappointed by the refusal in March and do not agree with the council’s interpretation of our application, in particular the concerns raised by the council’s landscape officer.

“Our studies show that there will be no significant landscape effects and while there will unavoidably be visual impacts from the development, our assessments do not deem these to be at unacceptable levels.

“Bairds Malt brings significant investment into the local community and provides employment for many families in the area.

“Our proposed turbine would enable us to significantly reduce our costs, allowing us to maintain our level of business and remain competitive in an increasingly challenging marketplace.”

He added: “The refusal did not recognise the potential for growth in the local economy and how the development would be a genuine benefit to the local community.

“We remain committed to delivering job security for our employees through this development and believe that we have a strong appeal case.”

Appealing to the council’s planning committee, he added: “We are confident that the committee will recognise the technical merits of, and the economic opportunities created by, our proposals.”