Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Eco-fascism in action: Scottish government "planning reporter" allows wind farm destroying historic St Andrews golf course landscape

St Andrews, the home of golf.
(image Wikipedia)

Alistair Edwards, a Scottish government "planning reporter" has - against the will of both an unanimous Fife Council and Scottish Natural Heritage - decided to allow a wind farm to be built which destroys the historic landscape of the Old Course at St Andrews, the home of golf.

This is Scottish eco-fascism in action:

“The turbines would be visible to outdoor recreational users. There are a number of coastal golf courses within ten kilometres of the appeal site, including the Old Course in St Andrews. Turbine blades would be visible from some holes on this course and others to the north of St Andrews. However, I consider that players’ (and observers’) attention would be primarily on the game, the golf course itself, the expansive sea views, and buildings and prominent landmarks in St Andrews.

“The movement of the blades may draw attention. However, the distance to the blades, a dip in the landscape where the turbines would be located, tree screening, the presence of a caravan park in the foreground (to the east of St Andrews), and the presence of the Fairmont hotel to the east of the appeal site would all reduce the visual impact of the blades. The visual impact from other courses including Crail, Kingsbarns, Fairmont, and The Castle golf courses would similarly be reduced to users due to attention to seascapes.
“No significant impacts to communities, the built or natural environment would occur.”

No wonder anti wind farm campaigners are furious:

A Government planning reporter has overturned a unanimous vote by Fife councillors to block proposals for the six turbine development at Kenly Farm, three miles South east of St Andrews.
The wind farm is being developed by St Andrews University and the turbines - each 328ft high - will be used to generate an expected 12.3 megawatts of electricity to be connected to the university’s high voltage network at the North Haugh Campus.
Both Fife Council and Scottish Natural Heritage had raised “significant concerns” relating to the impact of the proposed development on the historic skyline of St Andrews, the landscape setting of the town, and the visual amenity from town’s West Sands and the Links.
But planning reporter Alistair Edwards has ruled that the renewable energy scheme will have “no significant impact” on surrounding communities or the built or natural environment.
Linda Holt, a spokeswoman for the anti-wind farm campaign group, Scotland Against Spin, condemned the decision. And she claimed: “Many Fifers will be devastated by this undemocratic decision.. It will wreck the landscape, destroy quality of life for local residents and damage the tourist trade in the East Neuk.
“This wind farm will become a sorry symbol of the arrogant contempt with which university managers regard St Andrews and Fife”
John Goodwin, the chairman of the Kenly Landscape Protection Group which has spent four years campaigning against the proposal, said campaigners were “baffled” by the reporter’s decision. He said : “Every single councillor voted against this wind farm and local communities were wholeheartedly against it.”
He claimed: “People’s enjoyment of their homes will be diminished and house prices will inevitably fall. Similarly holiday homes and other rental accommodation will find it harder to find tenants.”

Read the entire article here

Hopefully the anti wind farm campaigners will redouble their efforts in order to have the "planning reporter's" undemocratic - and senseless - decision overturned!

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