A RETIRED Carnoustie geography teacher has this week highlighted the need to consider the potential visual impact of windfarming on the Angus seascape.
Mrs Erica Caldwell, a former teacher at the town’s High School, is concerned the general public is unaware of how their sea view will be transformed should all four proposed windfarm projects go ahead.
The four proposed windfarms are Mainstream Renewable Power’s Neart Na Goithe project, Repsol Neuvas Energias UK’s Inchcape farm and Seagreen Wind Energy’s Alpha and Brave sites.
Mrs Caldwell said: “I spent some time last week in Carnoustie Library studying the Seagreen documentation, in particular, the large landscape folders which contain the figures / diagrams / maps which illustrate not only the detail of Alpha and Bravo but also show the combined impact of the currently proposed 583 turbines from the four projects.
“Of particular interest to those who live in the coastal areas and inland upland areas with sea views are the diagrams which show the ‘new’ horizon from, for example, Arbroath and Carnoustie.
“The 200-year-old Bell Rock will effectively be ‘lost’ in the kind of seascape which will mimic the worst examples of blanket forestry which the Forestry Commission has spent so many years trying to rectify.
“I appreciate that the Scottish Government is keen to meet its Renewable Energy targets but to rely so heavily on inefficient wind power where turbines are destroying the beauty of our countryside, and now our seascape, to the detriment of the vital tourist industry on which Scotland relies so heavily, seems crazy.
“Yes, of course, we should be looking at using more renewable energy, but this needs Government investment in, for example among others, tidal and wave power which seem to have the potential to provide power with less visible landscape interference and jobs!”
A spokesperson for Mainstream Renewable Power said: “We have worked with other members of The Forth and Tay Offshore Wind Farm Developers Group to assess the potential visual impacts of our own proposed wind farm and the impact of the wind farms together.
“Whilst we recognise that our wind farm will be visible from the shore, we are determined to be good neighbours and have consulted extensively with stakeholders on our plans.”
A spokesperson for Seagreen added: “Seagreen Wind Energy recently submitted an application to Marine Scotland for the first phase of development in the Firth of Forth Offshore Wind Zone.
“The accompanying Environmental Statement to this application includes a full assessment of any anticipated visual impacts taking into account other developments in the immediate area. The nearest of the 150 proposed Seagreen Phase One turbines is 27km from the Angus coastline.”
Repsol had been asked for a comment but had not replied by the time we went to press.
All the consultation documentation is available online from the company websites and also from local libraries.