08:50 – 28 August 2006
The company behind plans for a windfarm on the outskirts of Stonehaven that were thrown out five years ago looks set to revive the proposals.
Renewable Energy Systems (RES) announced yesterday that it was now ready to submit a planning application for a windfarm at Meikle Carewe, near Netherley, four miles north of Stonehaven.
Members of Aberdeenshire Council’s Kincardine and Mearns area committee rejected its original proposal for a 10-turbine development on the site in 2001 on the grounds of possible interference with radar and TV and a perceived loss of amenity to area residents.
RES, which built a windfarm at Glens of Foudland, near Huntly, said yesterday that its new proposal had addressed these concerns.
The proposed height of the turbines has been reduced and the spread of the development has been cut to less than 5,000ft.
The company has also said the increasing number of windfarm developments throughout the country has improved the public’s familiarity with them, helping councillors, planners and local residents identify those that are suitable.
RES’s Scottish development manager, Ray Hunter, said: “We are aware that the area committee has several other windfarm applications awaiting their decision and we appreciate that this will inevitably have a bearing on our application. However, we remain convinced that Meikle Carewe is the best location for a windfarm near Stonehaven and that the benefits of our application will stack up favourably against any of the others which are currently being considered.”
The original plans for Meikle Carewe attracted strong objection from area residents, who formed an opposition organisation, Meikle Carewe Wind Farm Action Group.
North Kincardine Community Council secretary Robert Keeler said last night: “Generally RES was very arrogant in how it put forward its proposal until the local community created a fuss. At that time, after considering the proposal, we (the community council) were not in favour of it and whether we hold a different opinion this time will depend.
“I suspect people in the area, though, will not have changed their opinion. We will certainly listen to the company and we certainly need to find out more about the project.”
Kincardine and Mearns area committee will determine tomorrow the outcome of an application for a nine-turbine development at St John’s Hill, near Kinneff, which planners have recommended for approval.
Councillors rejected plans for a proposed windfarm on the ridge-line of Garvock Hill last year and this decision was upheld by the Scottish Executive in March following an appeal.
Plans for two other small-scale windfarm developments on the outskirts of Stonehaven are with Aberdeenshire Council.
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