ASH updated the original LVIA and visualisations and provide expert witness services at the Planning Appeal
There has been investigative drilling for Coal Bed Methane (CBM) taking place in the vicinity of Airth for approximately 20 years, by Composite Energy Limited. Composite Energy was acquired (together with the prospecting rights) by Dart Energy Limited, in 2011.
In 2013 Dart Energy submitted applications to Falkirk Council and to Stirling Council for planning permission to construct and operate a CBM production facility near Airth. The applications were supported by a Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment (the original LVIA) within the Environmental Statement prepared on behalf of the Appellant by RPS Group (RPS). Following a failure on the part of the Councils to determine the applications within the agreed time-scale, the Appellant submitted a deemed refusal appeal to the Scottish Ministers in terms of Section 47 (2) of the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997. The Reporters decided that a public inquiry should be held prior to their determination of the appeal.
Landscape and visual impact assessment
What we did
Since the original LVIA was carried out there were two minor changes to the proposed development; the addition of one 20m high generator exhaust stack at the above ground gas processing plant (permanent) and the addition of a 4m high noise attenuation earth bund at four drilling site compounds (temporary). RPS asked ASH to revisit and update the original LVIA and visualisations and provide expert witness services at the Planning Appeal.
There are no other similar projects within the study area and its environs, except those already operated by Dart Energy which do not form a part of the current proposal but which nevertheless form a part of the baseline. These were already taken into account in the original LVIA assessment and cumulative effects were therefore not considered to be a significant issue in respect of this development.
The Appeal is currently being considered by the Scottish Government and the outcome is still awaited.
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