WIND turbines could become the "dominant feature" of the Ochil Hills if a new development is given the green light, it has been argued.

Concerns have been raised over proposals to install more wind turbines in the Ochils a few kilometres up from Alva.

With a blade length of up to around 150metres, 15 turbines could be installed after a Proposal of Application Notice (PAN) was submitted by Windburn Wind Farm Ltd (Wind2).

Friends of the Ochils, an independent group that strives to protect and conserve the area, have opposed plans as it would have a major visual impact on the site.

A consultation is to be held over the wind farm proposal with infrastructure including battery storage in the hills above Alva, the site encompassing Blairdenon Hill and Core Hill.

The site is around 3km north of the Hillfoots village, on grazing land on the Clacks and Perth and Kinross boundary.

The project's website read: “The Windburn Wind Farm will comprise up to 15 wind turbines, with an installed capacity of approx. 72 megawatts and associated infrastructure.

“With staff based in the Highlands, Perthshire and Edinburgh, as well as Wales and England, the Wind2 team has significant expertise in renewable energy and a track record of successfully developing onshore wind projects throughout the UK.”

It is understood Windburn Wind Farm Limited is part of a joint venture between Wind2 and companies managed by Octopus Energy Generation.

Burnfoot Hill Wind Farm adjoins the site and while the proposals are at an early stage, an organisation campaigning to protect the Ochils has raised concerns.

Friends of the Ochils state they are in “no way anti-renewable energy” but believe the hills are too small in scale to absorb major developments without damage to its attractiveness.

Stuart Dean, the group's chair, told the Advertiser: “If this development were to go ahead along with proposals for two additional wind farms in the eastern Ochils above Carnbo, the Ochils would be turned into a wind farm landscape where extremely high turbines are the dominant feature.

“The turbines would be visible from many of the tops in the Ochils including Ben Cleuch, climbed by many thousands of hill walkers each year.

“They would also be visible from large areas to the north and south of the hill range.

“The Ochils deserve better than this.

“Existing wind farms in the Ochils are already making a major contribution to renewable energy output and to ask for more at the expense of the visual and recreational amenity of the hill range is totally unreasonable and unacceptable.”

Those behind the project say it is anticipated the Windburn development will have the potential to generate around 265,000 MWh of electricity each year which would be sufficient for 75,000 homes while offsetting around 114,500tonnes of CO2.

Consultation on the plans is to go ahead with an in-person exhibition at the Cochrane Hall in Alva on Wednesday, June 21, from 3pm to 7pm.

With location and times to be confirmed, further consultation could go ahead at Alloa Town Hall while similar events will be held in Braco and Blackford.

Wind2 would also make a £5,000 annual contribution for every megawatt of installed capacity during the operational period to a local community benefit fund.