The granting of an appeal for a single Wind Turbine at Finavon Hill in Angus raises the prospect of further approvals for applications in the pipeline for this area. Angus Council have approved the appeal and granted the go ahead for a single turbine installation on site.
The proposal comprises the construction and operation of a single wind turbine situated on the north side of the Hill of Finavon. The turbine proposed has a hub height of 40m and a rotor diameter of 54m, giving a total tip height of 67m. The project would have an installed capacity of 0.5MW.
2.1 The Finavon Hill Estate is owned and operated by Jeffrey John Sanderson, who has been a resident of Angus for over 38 years. Mr Sanderson has been looking at the promotion of a wind project since 2010 to help secure the future of the estate and to enable the employment of additional staff. In 2010, Mr Sanderson identified Kilmac as a suitable local company to partner with him on the projects’ promotion.
2.2 The Kilmac Group is a Perth-based privately owned construction company formed in 2004. Having diversified into the Renewables market, Kilmac now specialise in the promotion, construction and operation of onshore wind projects. Kilmac employ over 100 people predominately from the Tayside area.
2.3 An application for a wind turbine development was previously submitted and determined on the Finavon Estate land holding. The original application, submitted in January 2012, proposed a cluster of three wind turbines of up to 99.5m tip height along the top of the ridgeline. This application (Council Ref: 12/00002/EIAL) was appealed to the Directorate for Planning and Environmental Appeals (DPEA) on the grounds of nondetermination in August 2012, after an agreed time extension for determination had lapsed.
2.4 In October 2012 this appeal was dismissed by the appointed Reporter and the application was refused (Appeal Ref: PPA-120-2019) (B05).
2.5 It was the opinion of the Reporter that the proposed development would cause an unacceptable adverse impact on the landscape as the turbines would appear out of scale with the medium scale landscape. The appointed Reporter also concluded that the proposed development would cause an unacceptable adverse impact on a number of residential properties within 2km of the site location.
2.6 Kilmac Energy, in partnership with the Finavon Estate, has considered the reasons given for the refusal of the original application and firmly believe that there is an opportunity to develop a more modest wind project on the site to support the longevity and growth of the business and support surrounding established local businesses promoting employment opportunities in future years.
2.7 The development has been completely re-designed seeking to address the concerns of the Council and the Reporter from the original application. It is considered that the revised design is now compliant with the key concerns that prevented consent of the original scheme. © Green Cat Renewables Ltd Page 4 of 18 Procedural History
2.8 A key consideration in the determination of this application must be that over the lifetime of the development there have been two distinct changes in landscape capacity recommendations through various guidance documents. The Appellant has been chasing compliance with changing design guidance since the projects conception in August 2010.
The key points are:
1. August 2010: Prior to submission of the original application for three 99.5m turbines, the 1st edition of the SLCA suggested that there was capacity in the landscape for a development of that scale. Full EIA work was instructed in accordance with this guidance.
2. The application was submitted in December 2011 and during the course of this application, the REIG was adopted (June 12) which suggested that capacity of the landscape should be limited to 80m. This application was subsequently refused and the design process for a revised submission was progressed.
3. The applicant then initiated further screening in August 2013 and during the screening stages of the revised development, Angus Council indicated that a revised SLCA was imminent. This document, published in November 2013, suggests that wind developments should be further limited to 50m in height.