A castle on the outskirts of Banff will play a pivotal role in plans for a new wind turbine development.
Inchdrewer Castle, which is three miles south-west of the town, stands near the site of a proposed two-turbine development at Strath of Brydock, Alvah.
The possible effect of the development on the setting of the castle, which is category A listed, is causing concern to Historic Scotland and local authority planners.
Historic Scotland claims the visual effect of the proposed turbines on the unoccupied castle would be “severe”.
A planning application by A. J. Duncan, of Muirden, Turriff, for permission to put up the turbines will be discussed next week by Banff and Buchan councillors.
Council planner James Welsh said Historic Scotland had been consulted for any opinions on the effect the scheme would have on the castle.
He said: “Their comments are that the turbines will be highly intrusive and break an otherwise unobstructed horizon.
“The castle lies on lower ground to the south below the hill proposed for the turbines and they would sit above the castle.
“Historic Scotland concludes that the visual effect of the turbines on Inchdrewer Castle would be severe.”
Mr Welsh said planners were also concerned at the effect the development would have on the building and on the wider landscape.
He is recommending that councillors should reject the planning application when they meet at Fraserburgh on Tuesday.
Inchdrewer is owned by Robin de la Lanne-Mirrlees, who is also laird of Great Bernera off the west coast of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides.
He carried out extensive renovation work to the building more than 30 years ago but it was never occupied.
In 1713, the castle was the scene of the murder of George, Lord Banff, and it was damaged by fire at that same time.
By John Thompson
2 March 2007
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