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Public get a chance to have their say on windfarm development  

Local residents will be given the opportunity to view proposals for a 12-turbine windfarm on the outskirts of Stonehaven this weekend.

Renewable Energy Systems, the company behind plans for the scheme at Meikle Carewe, near Netherley, is holding a public exhibition in the town on Saturday.

The firm announced last month that it was going to resubmit a planning application for a windfarm on the site, which lies four miles north of Stonehaven.

An earlier application for a 10-turbine development was rejected by Aberdeenshire Council’s Kincardine and Mearns area committee in 2001 due to the possible interference with radar and TV and a perceived loss of amenity to area residents.

The company hopes that the public exhibition will allow local residents to gain a better understanding of the development before it is submitted to the local authority in the next few weeks.

The company’s Dave Eastman said: “Meikle Carewe remains one of the best places for a windfarm in South Aberdeenshire and we are confident that our plans will generate a positive recommendation from the council’s planning department once they have had time to consult with interested parties.

“The air traffic concerns were resolved as far back as 2003 and TV reception issues have been addressed in the new application.

“The real challenge was to tackle visual effect. We have used a new 3D software application to help redesign the windfarm, grouping the turbines closer together. Furthermore the turbines being proposed in the latest application are smaller than those specified before.

“These measures have resulted in a noticeable reduction in the windfarm’s prominence and improved harmony in the design.”

The consultation exercise has been welcomed by community leaders.

The original plans for Meikle Carewe attracted strong objection from area residents, who formed an opposition organisation, Meikle Carewe Windfarm Action Group.

Chairman of Stonehaven community council, David Fleming, said: “We always welcome developers consulting the local community before they finalise their plans and making clear what the disadvantages and advantages of any development are, to take account of local views.

“Not all windfarms are the same and it is important that we look at each one to see that the developers are striving for the best practice at all times.”

The proposed height of the turbines is 230ft and they would produce enough electricity to power around 5,000 homes.

The exhibition is being held in Stonehaven Leisure Centre on Saturday from 9.30am to 4.30pm.

A newsletter will also be circulated to nearby residents and a website dedicated to the development will be launched later this week at www.meikle-carewe.co.uk

By Amelia Whittaker

thisisnorthscotland.co.uk

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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