Reproduced from Ordnance Survey digital map data © Crown copyright. All rights reserved, 2011. Licence number 100048606

Reproduced from Ordnance Survey digital map data © Crown copyright. All rights reserved, 2011. Licence number 100048606

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Outh Muir Wind Farm

Cleish Hills, Fife, REG Windpower

OPEN was commissioned by REG Windpower to undertake the Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment of Outh Muir Wind Farm in Fife. The Development consists of 5 wind turbines each to a blade-tip height of 110m. The application for Outh Muir Wind Farm was submitted to Fife Council in June 2013.

Outh Muir sits within the Cleish Hills in south-west Fife, where the landscape is predominantly rural with a few small settlements and farms. The Cleish Hills are characterised by Knock Hill, made a landmark feature by the masts which sit on its summit, and Knockhill Racing Circuit, which sits at the foot of the hill. Outh Muir is an upland plateau which benefits from the screening effect of the surrounding hills and the design of the layout has worked to maximise the contained extents of the ZTV across the wider landscape.

By keeping the number and scale of the turbines relatively low, a design was achieved, which respected the scale and character of the upland plateau of Outh Muir. Within the wider views the wind farm appears compact and well composed with very little incidence of gapping or overlapping.

The sensitive receptors assessed in the LVIA related to the local designation of the Cleish Hills as a Local Landscape Area as well as the resident populations in the houses and settlements around the proposed wind farm. A Residential (Visual) Amenity Survey was carried out to assess in detail the potential effects on residential properties within a 2km radius of the proposed wind farm.

Fife Council refused the application in 2014 and REG Windpower subsequently submitted an Appeal to the Scottish Ministers. OPEN submitted written representations. The Reporter upheld Fife Council’s decision.