AN APPLICATION has been submitted to North Ayrshire Council to erect three 150m tall wind turbines only 3km from Irvine.

It is stated in planning documents that the structures could have "significant" visual impacts at Irvine beach park, while consideration had to be given to local "heritage assets".

This has been put forward by The Farm Energy Company for the Ardeer peninsula, though the turbines are intended to help power the nearby Berry bpi Ardeer factory.

Berry bpi is a company of Berry Global, a global supplier of a broad range of innovative flexible, rigid and nonwoven protective solutions for consumer and industrial applications.

Berry bpi create innovative packaging and engineered products that they believe make life better for people and the planet.

The application has 123 documents attached to it, detailing the proposal in depth, as they seek approval from the planning authority.

The proposed turbines would have a energy generating capacity of 14.4MW and according to the applicants would be able to meet approximately 72 per cent of Berry bpi's energy demands.

It is hoped that the development would help both NAC and the Scottish Government towards meeting their green energy targets, including net zero emissions of all greenhouse gases by 2045.

The applicants also state that the proposal would help provide job security for the over 240 employees.

The proposed site is located to the west of the Ardeer Peninsula approximately 1km to the south east of the settlement of Stevenston. Kilwinning is approximately 2km to the north and Irvine around 3km to the east. In the centre of the wider site boundary is the former Nobel's Explosives Factory Power Station.

All three turbine sites are situated in the land that was previously used as an explosive factory with the establishment of the British Dynamite Factory in 1871 part of Nobel Enterprise.

The construction period is estimated last around nine months and would be a phased process involving detailed ground condition surveys and investigation, followed by construction of any new access tracks.

It is proposed that the wind turbines would be operational for a period of 25 years. During the operational phase, the proposal would not be manned and would be monitored remotely.

Though despite this, planning documents state: "It is recognised that wind energy projects create both new short and long term jobs.

"Related employment ranges from meteorologists and surveyors to structural engineers, assembly workers, lawyers, bankers and technicians."

Once the turbines reach the end of their operational phase, they would be decommissioned and all turbine components removed from the site. The ground would then have to be reinstated to the satisfaction of North Ayrshire Council as the Planning Authority.

Amongst the concerns regarding the development are noise and visual pollution, particularly in areas within a close vicinity. The applicatns looked to allay these fears within their proposal.

With regards to this, documents stated: "Of the settlements considered, significant visual effects are predicted from Stevenston, which lies within a 3km radii of the proposal.

"Whilst significant effects are predicted, the affected areas of the town are predicted to be limited in number and extent.

"Of the recreational routes considered, users of the Ayrshire Coastal Path, NCR73, core path IK27, and core path TT11 were assessed as likely to experience significant effects on close sections of the routes (within 2km-3km of the nearest proposed turbine)."

Brief mention was given to local viewpoints, with significant impacts expected within a 2-3km radius, which means both Irvine and Stevenston beach car parks will experience such consequences.

Noise monitoring was undertaken at two residential properties within the nearby housing estate - one at Trelawney Avenue, close to the existing Berry bpi Ardeer facility, and the other on Deer Park Avenue which is slightly further away and captures a quieter residential context.

As no turbine model has been chosen at this point, 'worst case scenario' modelling was ran to understand the likely noise impact on both nearby residential properties and existing offices within Stevenston Industrial Estate.

Following monitoring and further modelling using noise data collected, it is demonstrated that the site, operating at rated power, meets the ETSU-R-97 night-time and the (lower) day-time noise limits at the most exposed location and at a location further back into the community where existing levels of background noise (and predicted wind farm noise) are shown to be lower.

In addition, the site meets a limit of 5 dB above the average measured night-time low wind speed background noise level at both locations by at least 2 dB.

Three "heritage assets" were also identified, with the potential influence on these to be investigated.

These were Eglinton Castle, Montgreenan and Annick Lodge - though the effects on these was assessed as being of negligible magnitude and through the application of professional judgement to be of minor significance.