Plans have been revealed to test the Buchan countryside’s suitability for future windfarm developments.
A series of 200ft monitoring masts could be installed in fields around Mintlaw and Stuartfield to record wind speeds and find the best potential locations for turbines.
New firm Buchan Power has lodged an application to build three temporary anemometers which, if they get the go-ahead, could stay in place for three years.
Three years ago, a plan to build 42 turbines on farmland five miles south of Peterhead attracted more than 1,000 complaints.
Residents in and around the rural patch claimed the 250ft windmills would spoil the landscape and the noise could make their lives a misery.
But the application, by Dudley Developments, was withdrawn before it could be discussed by local councillors.
A few months later the company went into receivership.
Buchan Power has stressed that its proposed monitoring equipment would not have a negative impact on the surrounding countryside.
A spokesman said: “In this case the wind monitoring mast, which is not located within a protected landscape, would be of slender design with guyropes that would cause little obstruction or intrusion within the landscape or have any detrimental impact on the character of the area in terms of scale or design.
“This proposal would enable windspeed data to be collected to help determine whether the site would be suitable for a wind energy development.
“There is a clear environmental and economic benefit associated with investigating the potential of these sites to generate power from harnessing the wind,” he said.
The three steel masts are proposed at agricultural land near Nether Aden and Baluss, west of Auchtydonald, near Mintlaw, and near West Knock at Stuartfield.
The public has just under two weeks to make any representations before the applications are referred to Aberdeenshire Council’s Buchan area committee for a decision on planning consent on April 17.
By Jamie Buchan
5 April 2007
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding