GREEN CAT RENEWABLES (GCR) is pleased that planning permission for the proposed Strathallan Wind Farm has been granted.
The Planning and Environmental Appeals Divisions has overturned the refusal and given the go-ahead for this nine-turbine development .
Green Cat always believed that the site was suitable for a small wind farm and has carefully designed the scheme in order to minimise landscape and visual impacts, ensure compliance with Perth and Kinross Councils planning policies, and negotiate technical engineering challenges such as areas of deep peat and steep slopes.
A previous planning application for four wind turbines was refused on the site in 2009 based on landscape and visual – including cumulative – impacts.
However, in 2010, Perth and Kinross Council adopted the new DTA Landscape Study to Inform Planning for Wind Energy, which identified that the landscape character – in which the Strathallan Wind Farm is situated – has capacity for accommodating a small wind farm.
A small wind farm is defined by the study as being eight to 12 turbines, up to approximately 100m in height.
Commenting on the design of the development, Appeals Reporter Scott Ferrie wrote:
“I find that the landscape character of the surrounding area would be able to satisfactorily accommodate the proposal.
“The council’s landscape adviser comments that the simple linear layout of the turbines would reflect the simple horizontal skyline of the plateau edge.”
In relation to potential cumulative impacts, Mr Ferrie stated:
“Overall I find that the proposal would not result in unacceptable landscape impacts, including cumulative impacts, and that it would in this respect be consistent with Perth and Kinross Councils planning policies.”
Graham Donnachie, GCR Head of Planning and Environmental said: “We believe that the Reporter’s decision is testament to the diligent design process that was able to strike the balance between limiting the environmental impacts whilst respecting the challenging habitats, terrain and existing infrastructure, such as the Beauly to Denny transmission line.
“By working collaboratively across all departments, including the Engineering Department and the Geotechnical Division, a well-balanced project design was achieved, and we are delighted that this has been recognised by the Scottish Government’s Reporter.
“Further demonstration of the successful design of the project was the lack of statutory consultee objection.”
One of the major successes of the development redesign was more than doubling the overall generation capacity of the project, whilst mitigating the main issues identified with the original proposal.
As a result, the development could now provide enough electricity for approximately 11,000 homes, which based on 2011 census figures would supply approximately 17 per cent of the households in Perth and Kinross.