Four more wind turbines are being planned for the north-east skyline amid the rapidly increased development of the rural landscape for renewable energy.
The latest windfarm could be built at Skelmonae, between Methlick and Auchnagatt, in Aberdeenshire.
Farmer David Smith, of Cloffrickford, hopes to put up the four turbines on a hill overlooking the Ythan valley. The area has become home to a number of individual wind schemes in the past year and tensions have run high between applicants – generally farmers – and objectors who fear piecemeal industrialisation of the land.
In the few days since Mr Smith’s plans were submitted, Aberdeenshire Council has received 28 letters from the public. There is no indication at present of the proportion of supporters and objectors.
Under the plans, the four turbines would stand at 252ft in a line mostly visible from the south.
In a report to the council, an environmental statement justifies the location and adds: “The land Hill of Skelmonae is owned and actively farmed by David Smith. Once operational, the windfarm will help the farmer to diversify from his normal agricultural operations and provide a much-needed source of alternative income.”
The report accepts the turbines will be visible from local communities but says the benefits to the environment outweigh concerns.
It adds: “The electricity produced at Skelmonae windfarm will make a significant contribution to the Scottish and UK targets for renewable energy.”
Mr Smith declined to comment yesterday.
About 100 concerned local residents attended the first meeting of Skelmonae Wind Action Group earlier this year. The council has previously stood by the environmental energy benefits but has turned down windfarms in some sensitive areas.
This week, the Scottish Government refused a large windfarm planned for Clashindarroch, near Huntly, because of the negative impact to the area.
14 September 2007
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