ARGYLL and Bute councillors have granted planning permission for a temporary 50-metre wind monitoring mast at Ascog farm.
The authority’s planning, protective services and licensing committee approved the application, by Mr Adrian Tear, at a meeting in Lochgilphead on Wednesday.
Despite attracting comment from 23 people - many of whom were concerned at the prospect of the mast paving the way for wind turbines in the area - the council’s planning officials decided not to hold a local hearing to consider the application, as they did earlier this month with the proposal to build a residential care home in Ascog, because “an approval would not set a precedent for accepting wind turbines at the site”.
In his assessment of the application, to erect the mast for a temporary 14-month period, local planning officer Steven Gove said: “The mast has a relatively thin profile (17.5cm or seven inches in diameter) and it is considered that given its small scale diameter and that it will only be sited for a temporary period of 14 months, it will not constitute a permanent and prominent feature in the context of its landscape setting.
“Therefore, it is not considered that its presence will have a significant adverse visual impact on the wider landscape setting of the area.
“It should be made explicitly clear that the temporary approval of this mast for wind monitoring purposes does not imply that the surrounding area is a suitable site, in planning terms, for a wind farm development.”
* More on this story in the next issue of The Buteman - on sale on September 29.