Group slams plans for Fife's biggest windfarm at Blairadam
PLANS to create Fife's biggest wind farm to date at Blairadam Forest have been slammed by a West Fife community group.
Partnership for Renewables wants to build 14 130-metre (426 feet) turbines at the Forestry Commission site but Dunduff-based Stop Proliferation of Turbines (Spot) Fife says the proposals are "unsuitable", "detrimental" and "harmful".
The turbines would be almost as tall as the London Eye, have an estimated total capacity of 35MW and generate enough electricity to power 19,987 homes a year.
However, Spot Fife claims the application has far-ranging effects, with the turbines visible from "virtually everywhere within a 15km radius", from Dunfermline to Kinross.
The group's Andrew Turner said, "The turbines are to be sited in an area enjoyed by the thousands of people who use it for recreation.
"Part of the site is on a peat bog which when disturbed during construction releases CO2 into the atmosphere.
"Reducing CO2 emissions is supposedly the reason for building wind farms, although significant research shows that CO2 emissions are not reduced by wind farms and can in fact be increased.
"The highly populated rural areas around the site and villages and towns will all have significant views of these turbines.
"The area was deemed unsuitable for wind farms for a reason, the site is highly visible and valuable for its scenery and landscape character.
"Many protected birds and rare species are present on the site, including pink-footed geese who feed nearby and roost at Loch Glow.
"The turbines will be detrimental to the population of these birds, including those who fly over the site to nearby Loch Leven which is a Special Protected Area and RAMSAR site, an internationally important wetland site deemed the most important of our areas to protect from such harmful developments."
Mr Turner also warned of "potentially significant health issues" for residents living nearby.
He explained, "There is no legislation to protect people from low frequency noise (infrasound) which many people find more of a problem than the constant thump, thump, thump which you can hear.
"Many people living near wind farms report problems associated with infrasound including insomnia, dizziness, stress, headaches and psychological impairment, more frequent in children.
"The World Health Organisation recognizes annoyance and sleep disturbance as adverse health effect, unfortunately the Scottish Government don't."
Spot Fife hopes to raise "hundreds of objections" against the plans, although public comments are not currently being accepted.
Mr Turner feared Fife was seen as a "soft touch" by wind developers due to its mining heritage; a Scottish Wildlife Trust survey showed 138 applications over a two-year period ending February 2012, compared to 58 in Perth and Kinross, 40 in East Lothian, and 29 in Stirling.
He said, "That's more in Fife than the other three put together.
"We have to ask why it is that developers are targeting Fife.
"The site at Blairadam has been excluded from Fife Council's area of search for wind turbines due to the high quality and high visibility of the landscape.
"Fife Council's own guidance makes it clear that our landscape is a small landscape, heavily populated and not suited to large wind farms.
"Their guidance actually says that nowhere in Fife is suited to a turbine over 100m."
Spot Fife is also one of 11 Fife groups that have accused the council of a "culture of denial" over wind turbines proposed for the Kingdom.
The groups, which include the West Fife Community Council Forum, have written a joint letter to the council's chief executive complaining that the planning department is "failing local communities and individual residents threatened by turbine applications".
The groups claim planners "ignore" national and local policies in their reports and "uncritically" accept developers' statements, especially about the visual impact of turbines.
The letter lists five specific problems and highlighted the "culture of denial of adverse visual impact even when local communities object in considerable numbers with this as a primary reason".
It added that planners needed to "act urgently and decisively to address the concerns" raised.
Have your say. Post a comment on this article.
Mar 30, 08:54
We seem to be hell bent on putting up windmills everywhere which will destroy any natural beauty of Fife. There has also been no exhaustive research into the impact on animal life or human life living in the locality to these monsterous objects.
We also do not have the necessary grid network to deal with the windmills and people might find that they will be switched off a lot of the time so why are we doing this. There are far more sympathetic methods of generating sustainable energy such as Hydro electric power. There are many fsst flowing burns and rivers in the Fife area that would benefit from small Hydro Dams. It also improves the local ecology and can be a visitor attraction. Maybe we should re-think this whole wind farm senario and think about the real impact to the people who live in the areas close to them
Recommend? Yes 32 No 7
Mar 30, 09:38
As applicants can appeal to the Government to reverse local decisions we need to get it onside, as well as councils and others, if we are going to stop these wind turbines being built.
Are you disillusioned by rising electricity prices, over dependence on the "green" dream [especially uneconomical and inefficient wind farms] and the destruction of our countryside then please add your support to get the Government to have a serious debate on this issue at
or by GOOGLING "E-PETITION 22958" and following the link.
Please pass this message on to Councillors, members of your community and anyone else you know to persuade them to sign up too. If you are really concerned about wind turbines please write a letter promoting this petition to your local Newsletter and to the Editors of your local newspapers.
Recommend? Yes 23 No 6
Mar 30, 18:34
Again... didnt bother reading whole paragraph. It is stereotypical to say that dumb people live in the countryside, but in this instance it must be true!.
People have, do and always will fail to see the bigger picture!. The UK, as like most advanced countries will have to increase supply of electricity to their grids. Couple this with the Kyoto protocol which is an agreement between advanced and developing nations that they will cut their carbon co2 emissions.
Now village i****s, my question to you is this....If they cannot be built in your backyard, which I can only assume is the best geographical location. Then where can they be built?
Put simply no one wants these things but at the end of the day they cant all be erected hundreds of miles from Cities and towns they will power. You may have saw on BBC news this week that Eon and a German company have cancelled plans to build 2 nuclear power station. After the Fukushima disaster would you want one of them instead?
Face facts, whether you like it or not, these things will pop up everywhere and yes it will blight our landscapes, but it has the potential to make Scotland the powerhouse of Europe
Recommend? Yes 36 No 37
Mar 31, 10:52
Jayc182, I remember seeing Professor Jim McDonald, Principal of Strathclyde University, give a presentation on Scotland's renewable energy potential, about which he is very enthusiastic. He is an eminent power engineer and co-chairs, with the First Minister, the Energy Advisory Board in Scotland, among a wide range of other expert advisory bodies.
He referred to his view that onshore windfarms are likely to become 'stranded assets' within the next 20 years or so. In other words, we are currently in a phase of rapid development of onshore wind, but the turbines we see are going to be redundant relatively quickly. The reason for this is that, big though many of these turbines seem to be to many people, they need to be bigger still if wind is to provide a decent proportion of Scotland's energy supply. Public acceptability considerations alone mean that such turbines need to be offshore, where the winds are stronger and more regular in any event. That then raises legitimate questions about why we are encouraging the dash to onshore wind at present, rather than seeing gas as a bridging technology and doing as much as possible to fast-track marine renewables, to take one promising example. We may be right to do what we are doing, we may not. There is nothing wrong with asking questions opf prevailing orthodoxy.
He is also very enthusiastic about wave and tidal stream technologies, where Scotland genuinely has a competitive advantage in terms of the research base, technology developed so far and offshore engineering skills. The potential there is massive, particularly given the energy resource that we have in Scotland. The Scottish Government is doing quite a bit to encourage that.
I am agnostic about onshore wind but excited about marine renewables. Yet while some may object to onshore wind for NIMBY-related reasons, many of those who object because of the impact on the landscape have a perfectly valid point. They may be right, they may be wrong. But you do your cause no good by dismissing them in the way that you do. If all you have in response is insults, no-one will listen to what you have to say.
Recommend? Yes 22 No 3
Mar 31, 13:07
Jayc182 The point is, that the planning application for these turbines is in a location which Fife Council deems unsuitable for any wind turbines, let alone a project of this scale. All wind power has to be backed up, and not just when the wind's not blowing, it also has to be backed up in case it stops. Wind should be part of the solution, but our reliance on it over other more predictable renewable sources is a danger to our self reliance, economy, the health of those affected by it and the orrest in society for whom energy bills are accounting for a much larger part of their income.
Recommend? Yes 20 No 3
Mar 31, 16:10
I have already posted my comments in Central Fife Times regarding the article calling for a moratorium on wind farms: http://www.centralfifetimes.com/news/roundup/articles/2012/03/28/426193-turbine-moratorium-call/ The same points can be made here. Lochgelly and surrounding areas will also be affected by the wind farm proposed for Blairadam, as well as the wind farm planned for Hilton of Beath. I'm strongly against the proliferation of wind turbines in Fife, our countryside is being ripped apart to accommodate these industrial wind farms/power plants. They require large access roads, tons of concrete to be poured into the ground for each turbine, further pylons to attach to the grid system...in the process they tear down trees, hedges, large areas of land. Little Raith was twice turned down by Fife Council, but the decision was overturned by the Reporter on behalf of the Scottish Government. "SEPA had raised concerned that the turbulence and air distribution caused from the Wind Turbines could lead to higher concentrations of Benzene in our air." As far as I know Fife Council had tried to press for certain conditions to be met by the developers, such as if SEPA's concerns proved to be correct, the turbines would be switched off, the developers found a way around this and now are only required to monitor the situation...which is of little use to us if we are actually breathing in Benzines! Also ignored was the Scottish Governments own guidelines of a 2km set-back from residential homes. The nearest home in Lochgelly is 1.6km, and in Cowdenbeath 1.3km. There are known adverse health-issues to do with wind farms, bird and bat kills. They are in the direct route of the pink-footed geese migratory path. Their carbon-footprint is not discussed openly...check out neodymium and toxic lakes in China...(neodymium is needed for the magnet to power the turbine), there is shipping, the construction of the individual turbines, the 1000's of tons of concrete poured into the land...none of this is calculated into the cost of the turbines carbon-footprint. At the end of their life-span, the turbine parts are not recyclable and are either put into landfill or left to rust. It seems to me that we are destroying our countryside for an expensive and dubious form of energy which fills the pockets of the developers and the land-owners…the money and effort would be better put to use in other alternatives, and there are other sustainable and green energies out there that have a better proven record than these white elephants. I would also like to point out that the situation in Lochgelly and surrounding areas seem to be mostly ignored, 9 turbines, each 125m/approx 425ft, with a further 2/3 going up at Mossmorran.
Recommend? Yes 19 No 6
Mar 31, 17:50
THE WIND TURBINE CAPATAL OF FIFE
The inhabitants of Upper Steelend and Dunduff (who are now officially outnumbered by turbines) would like to claim the much sot after title of Wind Turbine Capital of Fife. Within a two mile radius of their homes there are 50+ turbines and monitoring masts, of varying shapes and sizes ranging from 25meters to 130 meters, either erected or at the planning stage.
We challenge all other communities in Fife to try and beat our record; I warn all challengers that we will fight tooth and nail to retain our status, as we won’t relinquish our hard earned title easily.
Recommend? Yes 18 No 5
Mar 31, 20:10
Jayc182 your are so wrong,the only dumb stereotypical people are people such as you,who have clearly been sucked in by the wee ecks propaganda tripe on free electricity.
Some how you have failed to see the bigger picture,which is easy to see when you couldn't even be bothered to read the story you have put comment on.
If the grants and subsidy's were removed from these turbine applications, almost entirely all the planning applications would be withdrawn with immediate effect.
Your mention Kyoto and co2 emissions then why have the SNP given the go ahead to build a gas fired power station at cockenzie,double standards I would say.
Every independent report on turbines has slated them for the same reasons its simple they are not our answer to our energy demands.
The way forward to our energy demands are Tidal Energy,however wee eck can't seem to see this as this clearly shows with investment into this field from the SNP being £0.
I wonder how many more SNP MSPs will become millionaires on the back of turbines being installed on their land
Recommend? Yes 23 No 9
Apr 2, 23:10
What a bunch of moaning minnies - using this power to work their wee laptops or whatever to moan about a clean and risk free method of supplying this power that we all abuse!
These windmills will be no less obvious than pylons, Longannet!! or any of the nuclear power plants that everyone likes to moan about!!
Tell you what lets turn back time and live in caves again!! I'll bet the moaning minnies wouldn't have invented the wheel, just have been eaten by cannibalistic cavemen during times of hunger!
Come to think of it!! What an excellent idea!
Recommend? Yes 13 No 13
Apr 3, 13:14
I think people need to get some perspective here. Just because there are lots of planning applications for wind turbines doesn't mean they will all get permission and be built.
In the bigger picture countries like China, Russia, USA and the Middle east are monopolising global supplies of oil, gas, coal and other natural resources. Therefore if the UK doesn't want to pay more in the future for imported fossil fuels and resources, it has to find alternatives to energy generation and reduce its dependence on fossil fuels.
Scotland's traditional energy infrastructure is ageing. Most of this infrastructure is owned by private companies who are now having to replace it with lower carbon solutions in order to comply with international and national carbon reduction targets. The cost of replacing the energy infrastructure is being passed onto the consumer. Therefore regardless of what technology is used to upgrade the Scottish energy infrstructure, energy prices will go up. In terms of Government subsides, ALL forms of energy generation are subsidised by the UK government including oil, gas and coal, not just wind turbines.
Yes larger wind turbines can have big impacts on the landscape, but equally they can be easily removed within days with almost no evidence they were ever there. They will eventually be replaced by newer technologies. The scars left by traditional power stations can leave legacies of derelict and contaminated land on communities for generations. Just look at the site of the old Kincardine power station, which will probably sit there for generations as a blight on that community, is that fair?
The economic potential of renewables is massive for Scotland. The huge numbers of jobs being touted for the manufacturing industries is excellent news and will utilise the engineering expertise already existent in Fife and central Scotland. This will create well paid jobs for young people securing their future.
So lets see the bigger picture before people become overly critical on the merits of a few wind turbines.
Recommend? Yes 23 No 11
Apr 4, 14:58
On Government subsidies to energy generation, this news article gives some very good insight. http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/damian-carrington-blog/2012/mar/30/nuclear-energy-gas-climate
Recommend? Yes 10 No 4