Council rejects windfarm plans despite claims that it will secure jobs

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Photo: Charles Cook

Fife Council  has unanimously rejected the University’s proposal for a windfarm on Kenly Farm despite the University’s claims that the windfarm plans are “vital for its future.”

“There are strong grounds to show the application was mishandled and that councillors were given misleading information and advice,” said a University spokesman.

Photo: Charles Cook

The spokesman argued that the £20 million development, which received 200 letters of support, would “create and safeguard local jobs in Fife and generate clean power to support world-leading teaching and research.

“It is disappointing that a local authority charged with a leading role in economic development does not appear to have considered these factors in making its decision.”

The application has been fiercely debated since its beginning. Out of 569 representations, 372 objections were filed against the proposed plans. One of the concerns raised was the potential impact on the historic landscape and skyline of St Andrews and the surrounding area.

The Scottish Natural Heritage expressed concern about the turbines’ visibility. Council planner Sharon Dorward said that three of the turbines would be almost fully visible from West Sands; a statement that was fervently echoed by members of the committee who believed the turbines would be too intrusive.

The Kenly Landscape Protection Group accused the University of “putting pressure” on Fife Council to make a hasty decision, after it surfaced that the government had not received an appeal by the University. No appeal had been filed by the time of the Council’s meeting on Wednesday.

A spokeswoman for the university said, “In terms of our appeal, nothing has changed. We are appealing on the grounds previously indicated and notified to Fife Council.”

The application was significantly delayed owing to “months of dithering” according to the University.

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