Bairds Malt refutes turbine report claims

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An Arbroath firm has refuted a report from a council officer stating its turbine project would have an adverse impact on the landscape.

Bairds Malt is currently in the process of applying to build a wind turbine at their Elliot Industrial Estate facility but there have been a number of objections raised which the company is attempting to address.

Angus Council is also being asked by Bairds Malt to consider the long term future of the site and to help safeguard jobs in the area when considering the application. The company has 57 Angus employees and supply contracts with over 1000 farms, 230 of whom are in Angus.

Along with construction partner Kilmac, Bairds Malt submitted their application to develop a medium-sized single turbine at the plant to Angus Council in December 2014. Following discussions with the council, it has been agreed that there will be an extension to the determination date until July 31.

If consented, the turbine would reduce the company’s annual energy bill of £3.5 million by a third, and generate renewable energy on-site.

Bairds Malt have refuted Angus Council’s Landscape Officer’s report, published in April, that cites concerns regarding the application including adverse landscape, visual and cumulative effects.

Richard Broadbent, technical director at Bairds Malt, said: “Bairds Malt brings significant investment into our community and provides employment for many families in the area. Due to the volatility of global markets, we can’t control the economy but we can operate within it. Our proposed turbine would enable us to significantly reduce our costs, allowing us to maintain our level of business and remain competitive.”

Commenting on the Landscape Officer’s report, he added: “We were understandably disappointed by the officer’s report, and do not agree with the assessment of the application. It did not give sufficient weight to the impact of the existing industrial elements already visible on site that we believe ensures that the turbine would not be viewed as an isolated industrialised feature in this landscape. While we acknowledge views on our application will vary, we are hopeful that Angus Council as a whole will support us as a local company.”