Councillors reject wind farm project

THE COMPANY hoping to bring a £21 million wind farm to land between Arbroath and Carnoustie say they remain committed to delivering the project despite being refused planning permission for the proposals.

West Coast Energy, who were behind the Corse Hill wind farm project had already said if the plans went ahead, profits from one of the seven turbines would have been donated to local communities.

However, at Tuesday’s meeting of Angus Council’s development standards committee, the planning application was refused on the grounds that it would make a negative visual impact on the landscape.

And Steve Salt, planning and development director at West Coast Energy said they had received little objection to their plans for the wind farm, which would have been located next to the water treatment works at Hatton.

He said: “We do believe in the merits of our application. The application has been strongly supported by the local community, with three community partners working with us throughout.

“There has been very minimal objection from local residents close to the site, and there has been no objection from Scottish Natural Heritage to the location of our proposals.

“The proposals offered significant community benefit in the form of a community turbine, and the Corse Hill community benefit forum had established and agreed the facilitation of this funding equally between the three communities local to site.

“We also believe the application provided an environmentally friendly way to provide power by making use of a coastal location.

“Finally, we believe there would be significant financial and employment benefits brought to the economy and the local area if the application was to go ahead.

“For these reasons, we remain committed to delivering this project, and we intend to explore the best way to take this forward.”

Former chief executive of Angus Council David Sawers had been appointed chair of the community benefit forum that would have facilitated funding from the community turbine.

And he said the plans would have brought economic benefits.

He explained: “The wind farm and its associated community turbine represented a great potential investment in the Angus economy and to the local communities of Arbroath, Carnoustie and the surrounding area.”

Representatives from Arbroath and Carnoustie Community Council’s attended the meeting, as both groups could have benefited from the community turbine.

And they too expressed their disappointment at the decision.

Ralph Morris, treasurer of Carnoustie Community Council, said: “We have not received any note of discontent or objection from any resident in the community council boundary towards West Coast Energy’s Corse Hill Wind Farm, and given there are approximately around 11,000 residents in the community council area, this shows a significant level of support for the proposals.”

While Mike Cosans, chair of Arbroath Community Council added: “The wind farm would have been beneficial to Arbroath and its surrounding areas, so it was a disappointing decision taken today by the council.”