Published: 04/11/2013 22:47 - Updated: 03/11/2013 22:55

Revamped Black Isle turbine plan still gets the wind up objectors

Objectors to the initial scheme will stage a public meeting this week to discuss downsized proposals.
Objectors to the initial scheme will stage a public meeting this week to discuss downsized proposals.

A RURAL Black Isle community which remains defiant against a fresh attempt to establish a wind turbine close to their homes will hold a public meeting this week to discuss the latest application for a smaller structure.

Earlier this year the 68 households on Culbo Road outside Culbokie rallied together to “fight tooth and nail” against a plan to build a 76-metre turbine on agricultural land at Upper Badrain Farm.

The neighbours held meetings, erected banners, launched a petition, wrote a flurry of objection letters, contacted local politicians and set up a Facebook page after hearing about the application by Dawnenergy.

They were concerned about the impact on their health, the landscape and if it could lead to a cluster of turbines on that land.

The proposal, which attracted 121 public comments — mostly all against the plan — was withdrawn later in the summer.

A new application for a scaled down 45-metre turbine on the same site was lodged with the local planning office last Monday by the same developer.

This week one of the original objectors, Steve Horsfall, told the Journal the general feeling is that everyone is still against the turbine and they don’t want one near their homes.

“Even though it has gone down from 76 to 45 metres, it is still quite a big turbine to be so close to our houses and the more I learn about wind turbine syndrome, the less I want to be living near one,” he said.

“If I have to put up with one being put up 450 metres from my house, then I won’t be very happy. I don’t think it is fair for people to have this imposition put upon them. It is totally unfair in my opinion.”

He said the campaign group set up by the neighbours would be holding a meeting on November 6 in the village school to discuss the new application.

Mr Horsfall explained they would be holding fire on sending in their objections to the application until then.

He said that he had a large banner against the turbine plan in his garden and a similar one belonging to a neighbour had disappeared from her garden and she had reported the matter to the police.

Mr Horsfall added that a survey lodged with the previous application for the 76-metre turbine basically indicated that animals and birds don’t use that site, but on Monday afternoon he photographed around 500 geese in the field where the turbine is supposed to be built. He also believes the new plans do not give them the information they really need to assess the application.

According to the Highland Council’s ePlanning site, Dawnenergy lodged an application on October 21 for a 225kw turbine measuring 45 metres to the tip, plus a substation and formation of access on Upper Badrain. No public comments have yet been posted.

The supporting statement says the wind turbine site lies in an area of agricultural ground, adjacent to Wester Culbo and Findon Forest and the turbine itself will be one of the robust and reliable machines available on the market. It will generate enough electricity to power 60 homes annually.

The previous application was for a 500kw turbine. It attracted many objections, particularly about the scale the 76-metre structure being out of keeping with the landscape. Others were concerned about being subjected to the noise of the turbine 24 hours a day.

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