Wind turbines visible from Old Course given the green light

October 7, 2013 by  
Filed under Green Energy News

Golfers playing some of the world’s most famous fairways will soon have something other than the hole in sight.

A windfarm has been approved just three miles south of St Andrews.

Blades of some of the six 328ft turbines, to be constructed by St Andrews University at Kenly Farm, will be visible from holes on the Old Course, which regularly hosts the Open Championship.

Despite efforts by Fife Council to blow out the proposal, planning permission has been issued by a Scottish Government reporter on appeal.

Both Scottish Natural Heritage and the council, which refused planning permission a year ago, had warned of the visual impact on the historic skyline of St Andrews and views from the links and the West Sands.

Reporter Alistair Edwards decided the huge structures would have no significant impact on surrounding communities or the built or natural environment.

He said: “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 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 and the presence of the Fairmont Hotel to the east of the appeal site would all reduce the visual impact of the blades.”

No one from St Andrews Links Trust, which manages the course, was available for comment.

The turbines near Boarhills and Kingsbarns are expected to produce 12.3 megawatts of electricity, which will be used to power the university’s buildings at the North Haugh.

A university spokesman said: “We are delighted that our appeal has been upheld and that this important project can finally go ahead.”

Meanwhile, separate plans by West Coast Energy for a further five turbines of the same height at Lingo Farm, three miles south of the town, were thrown out.

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