A proposed three-turbine windfarm development in rural Aberdeenshire has sparked concern over the possible effect on wildlife, views and property prices.
Opposition is mounting over plans for the development at Mains of Hatton, Kirktown of Auchterless, near Turriff, by Cardiff-based firm Eco2 Ltd.
The company has lodged a planning application with Aberdeenshire Council, which is currently being assessed by the planning service.
Turriff resident Barrie Liddell, of Castle Street, formerly lived near the proposed site of the turbines, and is spearheading opposition to the project.
He said: “I agree with wind power in the right place, but this project defies belief. There should never be such monstrous things anywhere in this immediate area.”
Mr Liddell said the three turbines would be about 300ft high and affect views from a wide area, and claimed property prices in the immediate vicinity would be “grossly affected”.
He said he was also concerned that the proposed development could affect the flight path of wild geese.
Mr Liddell is encouraging anyone against the idea to contact him or object to the local authority planning service.
He said: “I feel, in this particular instance, we must all act together, and quickly.
The owners of Hill of Hatton Croft, where Mr Liddell formerly lived, have also objected to the proposed development.
Alex Hunter and his wife Dee moved to the area from the central belt of Scotland about 18 months ago to find peace and quiet.
He said: “Not only will this lead to loss of my property value and disrupt television signals, but it could also affect birdlife.
“These turbines will also be in full view of where I look out over the countryside.”
Mr Hunter said a number of other residents near the proposed site had also objected.
Gavin Catto, a spokesman for Eco2 Ltd agents Green Cat Renewables, said it was thought unlikely a development of this size would affect property values.
He said: “There is no evidence about property prices in relation to small projects.”
He said that, in any windfarm development some people would feel views had been affected, but he described the proposed three-turbine plan as “pretty benign”.
Mr Catto said the possible affect on birds had been assessed using methodology by Scottish Natural Heritage, and the risk to geese had been classed as very low.
Scottish Natural Heritage has informed Aberdeenshire Council it does not believe the scheme would affect natural heritage interests.
SNH also has no objections in relation to landscape and visual impact, but suggests the way the three turbines are grouped should be reviewed to give a more unified appearance.
Mr Catto said it was hoped Aberdeenshire Council would consider the planning application this spring and, if the scheme gets approval, work might get under way next year.
By John Thompson
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