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Council accused of ripping up rulebook over windmills plan  

Wind turbines will be built close to a road and a stone circle after councillors over-ruled policies set out to prevent their construction on sensitive sites.

The decision paves the way for a Turriff pig farmer to diversify his business with income from three 262ft-high windmills.

The move comes as another north-east farmer called on the “silent majority” to support more renewable energy projects in the area.

But some local residents close to the Turriff site accused the local authority of ripping up the rulebook following the decision yesterday. The three turbines will be built on land near Mains of Hatton, Kirktown of Auchterless, at one point 90ft from a road.

Council officials set aside guidelines which state all windmills should be as far from a road as they are tall – in this case making allowances of around 170ft.

The rules were meant to ensure public safety, should a turbine topple.

A three-way vote further complicated matters at the meeting at Ellon, with proposals to refuse the plans, approve two of the wind-mills, or accept the whole application all on the table.

The committee eventually backed the plans in a 5-3 vote. Following the meeting, objector Henry Bruce, of Hill House, said he was angry that policies had been broken.

Meanwhile, a farmer from Auchnagatt has defended his plans to build four windmills at Skelmonae, near Methlick. The plans, lodged with Aberdeenshire Council last week, have attracted 30 objections and led to the formation of an opposition group.

Applicant David Smith, of Cloffrickford, said: “I, and many others, feel that windfarms are an essential means of supplying truly renewable energy, as fossil fuels will run out eventually and we owe it to future generations to act responsibly.

“Many people are in favour of windfarms and find them peaceful, but, unfortunately, the silent majority seldom write letters in favour of a project.”

His plans will also come before Aberdeenshire Council’s Formartine area committee.

The Press and Journal

19 September 2007

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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