Bute turbines ‘should be refused’, say planners

Planners have recommended refusal of Bute Community Power's wind turbine plans for Auchintirrie, subject to a local hearing. This picture was taken during a visit organised by BCP to the Auchintirrie site in July 2014.
Planners have recommended refusal of Bute Community Power's wind turbine plans for Auchintirrie, subject to a local hearing. This picture was taken during a visit organised by BCP to the Auchintirrie site in July 2014.

Planning permission for two 47-metre wind turbines at Auchintirrie farm on Bute should be refused - but not without a local hearing on the application.

So say Argyll and Bute Council officials ahead of Bute Community Power’s application being considered by the authority’s planning, protective services and licensing committee (PPSL) next week.

Planning officer Steven Gove, in his assessment of the application, says BCP’s proposal is contrary to local and national planning policies, Scottish Govermnent and Scottish Natural Heritave advice on siting wind farms, and the Argyll and Bute Landscape Wind Energy Capacity Study.

Mr Gove says in his report: “Overall the proposal would give rise to inappropriately adverse environmental consequences, which cannot, when weighed in the balance of relevant considerations, be offset by economic, social or climate change considerations which are of such magnitude as to justify the setting aside of these consequences.”

The application - to be considered by PPSL members on August 19 at their regular monthly meeting in Lochgilphead - has attracted 244 representations, comprising 96 expressions of support and 148 objections.

On the requirement for a discretionary local hearing, Mr Gove says: “In this case, the balance of the representation received is from objectors and many of

their concerns are shared by the Planning Officer assessment.

“However, a not insignificant number of representations from the local area are in support and, therefore, it is considered that a hearing would add value to the determination process.

“On this basis, it is recommended that members [of the PPSL] undertake a hearing prior to the application being determined.”