Wind turbine exclusion explained

ANGUS Council’s infrastructure services committee considered a report on renewable energy when it met on Thursday.

The report attempted to clarify controversy over the ‘two-kilometre’ separation distance in relation to the siting of wind turbines.

It states: “The one major area of contention is the reference to a 2km separation distance in relation to potential visual impact and residential amenity.

“There appears to be confusion from both members of the public and the development industry as to what this actually means; with an interpretation ranging from thinking that it means a blanket ban on wind turbines within that distance from the edge of town, villages and individual houses through to the development industry thinking that wind energy proposals will require to submit detailed Visual Impact Assessment (VIA) in all cases.

“The 2km separation distance comes from the Scottish Planning Policy. The 2km distance is the separation distance between areas of search and the edge of cities, towns and villages; it is to guide developments to the most appropriate sites and to reduce visual impact. It can also be used in dealing with visual impact from individual turbines.

“There is therefore no specified distance per se that a turbine must be from residential properties, within or outwith towns, etc. The 2km distance is not an exclusion zone from residential properties but is a guide to the distance at which larger turbines may have unacceptable effects upon residential amenity and therefore is required to be systematically assessed as part of the visual assessment. Potential visual impact can only be considered when the scale and location of a proposal is known.

“It remains the Council’s view that residential amenity is an important factor in assessing wind energy proposals and visual impact is one part of the assessment process.

“Each case will be considered on its merits and the council will therefore require the submission of VIA information where appropriate.”