A WEST Fife community group has launched a campaign to try to prevent 11 ‘Beasts of Blairadam’ from going up at the beauty spot.

Renewable energy developer Partnerships For Renewables (PfR) wants to build the 115-metre (377 feet) turbines at the Forestry Commission site, as well as underground cabling, access tracks, crane hardstandings, a control building, substation and anemometry mast. There will also be selective felling and replanting of trees.

The plans have been submitted through PfR’s partnership with Forestry Commission Scotland and PfR says the development could generate enough to power nearly 13,000 homes a year.

But Stop Proliferation of Turbines (SPOT) Fife says the turbines – which will be almost twice as tall as the Scott Monument – will be a “carbuncle” on the environment.

Chair Andrew Turner said, “The site at Blairadam straddles the boundary between Fife and Perth and Kinross yet the developer has only planned turbines on the Fife side. "We believe this is because developers see Fife as a soft touch since turbines have been approved here in the past that would have been refused by other councils.

“Only two weeks ago, Perth and Kinross Council refused a planning application for two much smaller 35-metre turbines in the Cleish Hills very near this application at Blairadam Forest because of the unacceptable impact on the landscape. “Recent Fife Council guidance on where wind turbines can be sited clearly states that this area should remain free of turbines of any number or any size and we hope this new guidance will ensure the plans are refused.” PfR is offering £5000 per megawatt through a community benefit fund – or £2.8million over the development’s 25-year lifespan – if the application is green-lighted.

However, Mr Turner accused developers of “riding roughshod” over communities, saying, “The reason developers keep submitting applications for unsuitable areas is because they make vast profits at the expense of all of us because we subsidise wind energy through our energy bills.

“PfR stand to make £66million over 20 years from this wind farm and expect it to pay for itself in just three years.

“The more wind turbines that are built, the higher our energy bills will be to pay for these obscene levels of subsidy.” Scotland Against Spin (SAS), a national alliance campaigning against unsustainable energy policy, also opposes the turbines.

Alan Mathewson, PfR regional manager, said, “We have spent considerable time looking at the forest and have identified a specific area for development on the west side of Blairadam.

“This 11-turbine proposal will have the capacity to generate over 55 GWh of green electricity per annum – enough to power almost 13,000 homes.” Copies of the application are on display at Kelty Library and Townhill Library.