A renewable energy company has applied to Aberdeenshire Council for a windfarm on the outskirts of Stonehaven – five years after its original proposal for the area was rejected.
Renewable Energy Systems (RES) is seeking planning permission from the Kincardine and Mearns area committee to build 12 turbines of 70 metres in height at Meikle Carewe, near Netherley, four miles north of Stonehaven.
The company’s original proposal for a 10-turbine development on the site in 2001 was rejected by the committee on the grounds of possible interference with radar and TV and a perceived loss of amenity to nearby residents.
Earlier this year a spokesman for RES suggested the company had addressed these concerns by reducing the size of the turbines and the spread of the development to less than 5,000ft.
The spokesman also said the increasing number of windfarm developments throughout the country had allowed the public to become more familiar with them, helping councillors, planners and local residents identify those that are suitable.
But yesterday the vice-chairman of North Kincardine community council, Robin Winmill, said he suspected the latest plans were “more of the same”.
He said a number of residents had contacted the community council as the latest application approached, expressing fears over the loss of TV reception in particular.
Mr Winmill said: “Apart from the exhibition, we have not had a chance to examine the application, but from what we have seen it seems much the same as the last one. The development is in a similar position, there are a similar number of turbines, there will be a similar output, and local people – who are very upset – will have similar views.”
Mr Winmill said the proposed development, which runs along a ridge line, was contrary to the most recent guidelines of Aberdeenshire Council.
“New council policy says that you should avoid ridge lines and should try to reduce silhouettes, but the position seems to be virtually identical,” he said.
He added: “The TV question is an issue potentially for a large number of people – we remain to be convinced they have solved the problem despite their assurances.”
No one was available for comment at RES yesterday.
The RES Group, which specialises in the development of medium to large-scale windfarms around the world, has 22 windfarms in the UK and Ireland, including one at the Glens of Foudland, near Huntly.
Its original plans for Meikle Carewe attracted strong objection from area residents, who formed an opposition organisation, Meikle Carewe Wind Farm Action Group.
The latest application also comprises transformers, a control building, a substation compound, a wind monitoring mast and access tracks.
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