Kinneil turbine plan rejected

MOVE WELCOMED BY BO’NESS COUNCILLOR

Controversial plans to erect a giant wind turbine overlooking historic Kinneil Estate in Bo’ness have been rejected by the Scottish Government.

The move has been welcomed by one local councillor, who said it was “a victory for common sense”.

Councillor Adrian Mahoney said: “The turbine would have caused a blight on a historic park which features part of a World Heritage Site. I’m pleased the Government planning Reporter has dismissed the appeal and refused planning permission – upholding a previous decision by Falkirk Council to turn down the application.

“I am not against renewable energy, but this was the wrong application in the wrong location.”

Kinneil Power LLP wanted to build the turbine at Upper Kinneil, close to the western edge of Kinneil Estate. The turbine would have been 87 metres, or 285 feet in height (to the tip of its blades), and would have been visible from Kinneil’s Roman fortlet.

In dismissing the appeal, the Scottish Government Reporter, David Liddell, made reference to mock up supplied by the applicants.

He said: “The wireframes and photomontages supplied for viewpoint 17 show that the turbine, at a higher elevation and around 700 metres from the monument, would be very prominent beyond and above the tree belt fringing the southern boundary of the estate.

“Almost the full diameter of the turbine blades would be visible.

“In my view the moving turbine would introduce a highly conspicuous and discordant element into what appears presently to be the largely undeveloped setting of the fortlet. The appellant states that the turbine would not, depending on one’s precise location and viewpoint towards the monument, always be visible. Once noted, however, its presence would not easily be forgotten … ”

He went on to say: “In my judgement, the impact on the setting of this scheduled monument would be significantly adverse.”

West Lothian Council, Historic Scotland, Bo’ness Community Council and local residents had all objected to the proposal. Councillor Mahoney stepped aside from his role as a decision-maker on the planning committee to raise his objections. He is a founding member of the Friends of Kinneil charity and was concerned about the impact the large turbine would have on the sensitive historical site.

His concerns were shared by officers.

An initial report by Falkirk Council’s director of development services Rhona Geisler said: “The proposal represents an unacceptable form of development which would be contrary to the terms of the Development Plan due to significant concerns over the visual impact of the proposed turbine.”

Councillors decided in June to refuse the application. However the applicants appealed to the the Scottish Government’s Planning and Environment Appeals Division. The decision was announced this week.

You can read the full report here: https://www.dpea.scotland.gov.uk/Document.aspx?id=331438

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