Two separate schemes to build giant wind turbines overlooking golf courses are both rejected
Two controversial proposals in separate parts of the country for golf clubs to be overlooked by giant wind turbines have both been refused by their local councils.
The wind turbines would have cut the clubs’ energy bills and carbon emissions, but some golfers were bitterly opposed to them as they were perceived to be ‘monstrosities’.
Forfar Golf Club in Scotland wanted to erect a 250-foot wind turbine near its 10th hole, but officials at Angus Council have said the turbine would have an unacceptable prominence in the landscape and would be too close to housing.
It would have reached 50 metres to hub and 77 metres to blade tip, and been capable of generating 500KW.
The proposal had split the club’s members; a clear majority of whom voted for the change as they were hoping to cut the club’s costs. However, others said they would have left if the turbine had been built.
Club president David Soutar said that the money from the Scottish government as a wind turbine subsidy could have helped secure the future of the club and its facilities in the face of dwindling memberships and rising costs across the Scottish golf scene.
“This came about because golf clubs are facing quite a challenging time,” said Soutar.
“Membership numbers are falling but, as is the case with every business, your costs go up all the time.
“What we were looking to do was get a strong revenue stream.
“We asked ourselves, ‘what can this do for the club’ and the answer is that it would have allowed us to inherit over £600,000 in net income from the Scottish government’s renewables incentive.
“The majority of our members were very much in favour of the scheme and it would have meant that we would not have had to put up fees over the years and it would have allowed us to reinvest that money in the club.”
Golf club managing secretary Stuart Wilson said: “The turbine proposal was put through at a general meeting of the club and for us was a long-term project.
“Once we had agreed to go ahead with it the application was in the hands of the developer and we will now have to discuss the decision with them.”
The developer has since asked the Scottish government to overrule the decision, which has been rejected.
Former club president Ewan Callander said the refusal decision was the right outcome for a ‘ridiculous’ proposal.
“This was something for an industrial site, not a golf course,” he said.
“To have a big turbine like that swishing about your ears on the course would have not been a good thing, and I can’t think of any other golf course which has one.”
Member Iain Martin added: “A wind turbine at Forfar Golf Club would have increased the membership of neighbouring clubs as members would have left in droves if this monstrosity of a structure had been allowed.”
Meanwhile, Boringdon Park Golf Club has had its hopes of erecting a wind turbine that would have been exactly the same height – 77 metres – also quashed by planning officials.
The turbine also would have helped slash its energy bills.
South Hams District Council planning officers decided to reject the proposal stating that the renewable energy structure would ‘dominate the outlook of nearby residential properties’ and would cause ‘harm to historic interests’.
“I’m obviously disappointed,” said Boringdon Park’s owner Michael Davey. “I do not feel that I got much feedback from the council.
“We might look for another location that is more suitable on the golf course, or even go down the solar panels route. We could lay down about 10 acres of those.
“I think the people of Plymouth were quite behind it. We had as many letters of support as we did against it.”