Strachur wind farm recommended for refusal

Peaty, carbon-rich soils and potential harm to the scenic value of nearby Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park are just two of the reasons given for recommending refusal of the nine-turbine application. mp_a02StrachurWindfarm01

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Plans for a nine-turbine wind farm in the hills above Strachur should be turned down, according to Argyll and Bute Council officials.

The proposal by Creag Dubh Renewables LLP was discussed by the council’s planning, protective services and licensing committee at its virtual meeting on February 23.

The plans for the site at Creag Dubh, northeast of the village on the hills above Loch Fyne opposite Inveraray, have attracted 14 objections from the public.

NatureScot and the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park Authority have registered objections, while the Scottish Environment Protection Agency objected twice before its views changed in June 2020.

Other parties, including Scottish Water and the Ministry of Defence, have expressed no objection.

A council planning officer said: ‘Permission is sought for 25 years and the proposal would comprise nine turbines, of various heights up to 145m to blade tip and each with a rated output of up to 4MW, giving a total output of up to 36MW.

‘[It would also comprise] nine crane hard standings with dimensions of 45m x 23m; approximately 5.6km of new permanent access tracks, including one turning area, and upgrades to 5.9km of existing forestry tracks; electrical and communication underground cables running along sections of the access track; a substation and control building.

‘In addition to these components that will be there for the operational life of the development there will be a temporary construction compound with storage facilities and welfare facilities.

‘In terms of the Scottish Planning Policy requirement for spatial frameworks for onshore wind energy proposals, and the Spatial Framework for Argyll and Bute as set out in SG2 (December 2016), the site is located within a group two area (areas of significant protection).

“[This is] due to the mapped presence of class two nationally important carbon-rich soils, potentially of high conservation value and restoration potential.’

The officer added: ‘The proposal is considered contrary to national and local policy and guidance insofar as it will have an adverse effect on the special qualities of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park.

‘The objectives of the designation and the overall integrity of the area would be compromised and it is not considered that these adverse impacts can be mitigated. It is also considered that the proposal will have significant adverse landscape and visual impacts.

‘Furthermore, as a consequence of the proposals’ significant adverse landscape and visual impacts, the proposed development may influence public attitudes to a point where tourists might become dissuaded from visiting.’