Planners say revised Brown Muir plans should be rejected

Windfarm proposals set to be rejected

A HIGHLY CONTROVERSIAL windfarm development near Rothes could be refused for a second time if councillors follow the advice of planning officers next week.

The planning application for a 12-turbine development at Brown Muir between Fogwatt and Rothes has attracted 1300 objections and only 20 notes of support from the public.

Now a special meeting of Moray Council’s planning and regulatory services committee will consider the application on Tuesday – and be told that despite developers following advice and reducing the number of turbines to be created, the application should be refused.

In a report to be put before committee members, it is being noted that national policy is generally supportive of renewable energy developments.

It also acknowledges that the number of turbines when compared to an earlier application had been reduced in scale – including turbines being removed from the highest parts of Brown Muir to lessen the visual impact.

However, the new proposals did not, according to officials, outweigh the unacceptable significant landscape and visual effects.

In recommending refusal the report concludes: “Policy may indicate support for a development which contributes towards the transition to a low carbon economy, but it requires the quality of the natural and built environment to be safeguarded.

“This would not be achieved here in terms of the number, height and siting of the turbines and the resultant unacceptable and significant adverse landscape and visual impacts to Brown Muir and the surrounding locality.”