Renewable/Other Energy

Fife calls for moratorium on windfarm applications

WHISTLING IN THE WIND: Council leader Alex Rowley claims Fife is being swamped by inappropriate bids from opportunist developers

Fife Council has called for a temporary halt on windfarm applications — just months after Aberdeenshire Council’s planning chairman proposed a similar moratorium.

Yesterday, Fife Council leader Alex Rowley claimed the authority was being swamped by inappropriate bids from “opportunist” developers who simply ignored guidelines on suitable sites.

He said: “The pressure being put on our planners is coming from the sheer number of wind turbine applications currently being submitted across all areas of Fife.

The council has already pinpointed areas of search following extensive consultations where turbines could be potentially sited.

“Developers are simply ignoring these when making their applications, which is making life more complex for our planning teams.

“Too many developers are simply being opportunist with applications for areas that not appropriate and this is taking up valuable planning time.”

His comments come just months after Aberdeenshire Council’s infrastructure services committee chairman, Councillor Peter Argyle, said there urgently needed to be a moratorium on applications across the north-east to give planners time to take stock of a deluge of wind turbine applications.

Mr Argyle said previously that Aberdeenshire has been faced with more than 800 applications in little over a year.

He added: “We urgently need time and space to take stock.”

While he has called for a temporary freeze on new developments, Aberdeenshire Council — which has already received more wind power applications than any other part of Scotland — has within the past few weeks revealed that it plans to build its own wind turbines.

The council has earmarked four sites for possible development. Flagged up are locations near New Deer, Pitcaple, two at Newseat and another at Balmedie where staunch opponent of wind power developments, Donald Trump, is completing his £750million golf resort.

Mr Argyle was not available for comment yesterday.

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