Minutes: 16th April 2012

There was a special public meeting of the Carnbee and Arncroach Community Council on Monday April 16th 2012 to discuss and vote on the Planning...

There was a special public meeting of the Carnbee and Arncroach Community Council on Monday April 16th 2012 to discuss and vote on the Planning Application for 3 wind turbines 12/00482/FULL. Present were Ian MacIntyre, Adrian Snowball, Carole Wright, Louisa Cocris, Linda Holt and Janet Lodge. Apologies from Mrs Wilson. Councillors Riches and MacGregor were in attendance. There were 46 members of the public. Mr King from Cameron also attended. Reading material with references was handed out covering the background to this application (attached). 1) Planning considerations and technical data were discussed. Not all data yet complete but Fife Council planners would not allow the CC a time extension. 2) Ian Brunton (Balmonth), Andrew Stevenson (Bonerbo) and Rob Watson (Drumrack) gave a presentation and answered questions. The 3 families have farmed the area for more than 100 years and the turbines would secure the future. Farm costs are huge . Questions from the floor covered size, noise, visual impact, Leuchars, proximity to other properties, access, power connection, type of turbine, Sorbie airfield, agricultural diversification, transport of component parts, effect on local businesses, tourism, property values. Geographic location is central to the 3 farms. Power lines are already there. It was more efficient to have 3 larger turbines (67m. to tip) than 6 smaller. 31 revs per minute. German make. Photo montages are available. There will be more which will include Lingo. Nearest property is Over Carnbee. Noise is below permissible level. Prevailing wind is from west. Leuchars / CAA / MOD have not objected. Owner of Sorbie airfield has not objected. It does not interfere with flight path. Access would be opposite Kingsmuir road end. The track would then be kept for farm use. Fife Council Transport Assessment done. Transport would be via Dundee docks and then by road through St Andrews. Differing points of view regarding property values and tourism. 3) Community Benefit. Mr MacIntyre read from Fife Council guidelines which explicitly encourage developers and communities to agree on a scheme acceptable and beneficial to both sides. Fife Council encourages the establishment of Community Development Trusts to deal with schemes such as these. The cdt reported that negotiations with the 3 farmers are at an early stage (as they are with Lingo) and there have been no meetings with the university. These benefit offers play no role in planning considerations. The farmers stated that the community should receive benefit of at least the £3.500 per MW per annum offered by the Lingo scheme. Farmers are ready to negotiate on this. They also stated that there would be space on the site for a community turbine if desired. Share in a community turbine had been offered to Anstruther and Pittenweem communities but they had neither replied nor objected. 4) Discussion and questions about cdt. Cdt has been set up by community for benefit of community. Opportunity at Jubilee Bonfire to pay £1 and become member. First AGM in September where all members of cdt have a vote in the deliberations of the cdt A preliminary vote was taken by the CC to clarify that this meeting had been called not only to discuss but to take a vote on the 3 farms application. A majority of the CC wished that a vote should take place – as with previous similar applications. A hidden vote was taken on the 3 farms application and counted. Object – 17 Do not object – 31 Abstentions – 3 Ms Wright questioned differences in voting arrangements over the 3 votes taken over the various turbine applications. Mr MacIntyre said it had been a learning process and there were practical considerations eg how much time and effort councillors can contribute. Information had been put on the Lingo leaflet to all houses that this approach might not be repeated and that people might have to come to the Hall if they wished to have their say. Contacting everyone in the community or having a well publicised hall opinion poll / vote were the only two sensible options. These approaches have both been used. Leafleting was very timeconsuming. Mr Rogers said that he wished Community Councillors would abide by Fife Council’s guidelines and leave the Chairperson to be spokesperson for the CC. Ms Holt assumed he was referring to her recent letter in the East Fife Mail in which she attacked the CC and cdt. Mr Rogers wished to answer points raised in this letter and said he would be making a formal complaint. A member of the public said Mr MacIntyre was biased in favour of wind turbines. There was a vote of thanks to Mr MacIntyre for his chairing of the meeting – with subsequent applause.

PDF: CCApril16_2012