Local residents were given the opportunity to air their views on windfarms at a public meeting at Stonehaven last night.
The meeting was organised by Stonehaven and District Community Council in an effort to better understand public opinion on the controversial issue.
Around 20 members of the public turned up and discussed turbines and renewable energy as a whole.
Several planning applications for windfarm developments have been put forward in Stonehaven and the surrounding area in recent years, with many attracting strong objections from the local community.
Ian Hunter, from Stonehaven and District Community Council, who organised the meeting, said: “There are ongoing plans being submitted for windfarms and we have had three of four put before us and for each one there is always a big debate and we thought it was necessary to have wider discussions.
“There are people who are very pro-windfarms and people who are very strongly against.
“We hope to better understand the issue by hearing people’s views.”
Community council chairman David Fleming said the aim of last night’s meeting was to educate people on windfarms.
He said: “Some while ago there were a number of windfarm applications put in in the area and they are controversial.
“We realised that we did not know some of the basic facts behind them.
“It is about our education as well as public education.
“We need to know the feeling of the community as it is our job to represent them.”
Two previous planning applications for windfarms in the Mearns have been met with strong criticism from the local community.
A £5million scheme for six turbines at Garvock Hill, near Laurencekirk, was rejected following a public inquiry. It attracted hundreds of objections from local residents about the potential damage to the environment, as well as people’s quality of life.
Plans for another nine-tower windfarm at St John’s Hill, Chapel of Barras, near Kinneff, were also thrown out by councillors last year.
Proposals for a 12-turbine windfarm at Meikle Carewe, Netherley, are being considered by Aberdeenshire Council.
Mr Fleming said: “We want to work towards a sustainable Stonehaven.”
19 June 2007
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