Toward wind turbine plans ‘still unacceptable’

editorial image

Plans for two 47-metre wind turbines directly facing Rothesay Bay are due to be considered by Argyll and Bute councillors this week.

The proposals, for a site to the west of Newton Park in Toward, have been the subject of a great deal of debate by members of the authority’s planning, protective services and licensing committee (PPSL) in recent months.

Comments by PPSL members have already resulted in the plans being amended so the turbines are re-sited in less prominent locations - though a meeting of the committee this week will be told that the authority’s development and infrastructure department “considers that whilst an attempt has been made to improve the siting of the wind turbines by bringing them down the hillside to a level of five and eight metres below that in the current application, the scale of the wind turbines in this particular location and lack of suitable backdrop for some of the key viewpoints would still result in adverse visual impacts and establish a precedent for inappropriately sized wind turbines in this prominent and sensitive area”.

The application, which was originally submitted in December 2012, has attracted 21 objections from members of the public citing the visual impact of the proposed turbines on the views available from Bute.

The department will recommend at a PPSL meeting this Wednesday, January 22, that the current application be refused, and will advise that the proposed relocation of the turbines would require a fresh planning application to be made.

At a previous meeting in November, PPSL members voted to defer a decision on the plans to give them time to “ascertain whether or not it would be possible to frame a competent motion to approve the application”.