Minutes: 10th Dec 2012

There was a special meeting held by the Community Council in the Church Hall, Arncroach at 7.30pm on Dec. 10th 2012 to discuss and vote...

There was a special meeting held by the Community Council in the Church Hall, Arncroach at 7.30pm on Dec. 10th 2012 to discuss and vote on the Planning Application for 2 wind turbines at Belliston Quarry. Present were Ian MacIntyre(Chair), Adrian Snowball, Janet Lodge. Apologies from Sheila Wilson. There were 19 members of the public present. Clare Walters from Wind Energy Direct (developers) and Glen Moon from Green Cat Renewables (environmental assessment) were present to answer questions. 1) Turbines are 92m. to tip. 70m. blade diameter. 2.3 megawatts. One turbine at west of quarry, the second on agricultural land above quarry to NW. Height above sea level? Altitude circa 140m. plus 90m. turbine. 2) Decommissioning? It is a condition to submit a decommissioning plan 6 months before end of life of turbines. Everything above ground level goes. Legal agreement for cash to be in bank for decommissioning – available for Council/landowner access for decomm. purposes should WED go bankrupt. Life of turbines? Max. 25 years. Technology will have changed by then. If turbines not operational for 6 months – obligation to remove. 3) Other schemes? In UK 1 built, 2 consented, 17 in planning. In Ireland 3 built, 1 consented, 2 in process of planning. 4) Do they sell on? No. 5) There will be an underground connection to grid at Carnbee. 6) Access to site? On plan looks like 2-lane road to site. Will use existing track with passing places if poss. Question about ownership of track. Not registered. If a problem arises another track would be made. Both tracks are shown on plan. 7) Access? Route via St Andrews on general road network. Nearer time route access plan goes to Local Authority with greater detail. Can be timed to fit local circs. To minimise impact. 8) Would blasting at quarry affect turbines? Been taken into account by Cooke. 9) Noise? Assessment shows noise is below threshold. Strict constraints. 10) Flicker? Area of impact – 10 x diameter of rotor blade. 700m. Angle of sun depends on season. Flicker might occur at short times on certain days in certain weather. In worst case scenario turbines could be shut down then. Planning condition – tel. number and WED would investigate and compensate. 11) Impact on landscape? Cannot be hidden but can be minimised by careful design. Acc. to Fife Planning Policy – 2 turbines of this size are acceptable. No evidence of loss of property values once they are built if they are properly sited and designed. 12) High winds? Blade pitches into wind. Shuts down at 25 m.p.second. 13) Infrasound? Lack of data and evidence as to what this is. No requirement to assess this. May be significant offshore. GM will pass on what evidence there is. 14) Community Benefit. WED has had preliminary discussions about Community Benefit with cdt. Would offer for first 10 years £23 000 p.a. and for next 15 years £32 000 p.a. In toto £710 000. If turbine smaller – less benefit. Payable even if not turning. If scheme were to have longer life benefit would continue. Detail has to be worked out in light of circumstances. Nothing signed yet. Does not mean cdt has role in Planning process. It is protecting community interests. WED has reputation to protect. Not in its interest to renege on an agreement. Benefit would be managed locally for and by community. Standard criteria. Not for political lobbying. Fife Council Guidance encourages Community Benefit agreements. Does not affect Planning. Ms Walters and Mr Moon left at 8.15. Asked about proxy votes, Chair explained proxy voting can only work if everyone in area is offered a proxy vote, as in the case of the much larger Lingo application. An opinion poll of people in Hall was taken. Voting slips were handed round, anonymously filled in, collected and counted. Subject of vote – the proposal for 2 wind turbines at Belliston Quarry :- Object – 3 Do not object – 14 Abstentions – 5

PDF: Minute of special meeting belliston 10 dec 2012