Cardross golfers set to challenge council’s solar panel ruling


WIND turbines should be put up around the greens at Cardross Golf Club instead of putting solar panels on the clubhouse roof, a council officer has suggested.

The club is contesting a decision by Argyll and Bute Council officials to deny them permission for more than 100 photovoltaic panels on the roof of the building.

An application for 108 panels on the roof of the clubhouse was turned down by the authority in October.

An officer said that the panels would be “dominant, visually obtrusive and visually discordant”, despite no objections being received from members of the public.

READ MORE: Cardross Golf Club’s ‘visually obtrusive’ solar panel plans turned down

The clubhouse, built shortly after the end of the Second World War, was added to Scotland’s register of listed buildings in 1996.

But Historic Environment Scotland, which is responsible for maintaining that register, did not comment – positively or negatively – on the original application.

However, a council report prepared ahead of a ‘local review body’ appeal hearing, which was held via Skype on Tuesday, asked for the appeal to be dismissed – and suggested that wind turbines around the course could be an alternative.

Seeking more information from officials councillors decided to delay making a final decision, meaning the hearing will most likely not be heard until 2021.

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The club said in a statement: “Further to our conversations with the planning office and the original approval of the application from the department, we are very disappointed to hear of the differing opinion from the senior planning officer around the project and its potential visual impact.

“The plans demonstrate that the actual visual effect of an array of this size is very minimal – especially considering the vast amount of other roof obstructions which sit higher on the roof than what the proposed solar array would.

“We have looked at every possibility, but the installation would need to be roof mounted to make the project financially beneficial to the course.”

However, a report compiled by the council for the appeal hearing said: “Before a final decision to refuse was made, the appellant was asked to consider alternative locations for the panels. The appellant did not advise if this had been done.

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“Moreover, no examination was undertaken by the applicant to explore and discount alternative renewable installations such as ground source heat pumps, wind turbines located throughout the course greens, or hydroelectric generation from the adjacent Kilmahew Burn.

“The council therefore disagrees with the appellant’s statement and considers there are alternative options for renewable energy schemes in this location.

“Taking account of the above, it is respectfully requested that the application be dismissed.”

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