The development of a windfarm with turbines which would have towered 300ft above the Aberdeenshire countryside was categorically rejected by councillors yesterday.
An application by NPower Renewables for eight turbines on Clashnarae Hill, Alford, was thrown out by the Marr area committee.
The plan attracted fierce criticism from locals, who submitted 162 letters of objection and formed their own campaign group to oppose the development.
They argued that the windfarm would be a blot on the landscape and would cause irreparable damage to habitats at the Kildrummy site, designated an area of ‘landscape significance’ by Aberdeenshire Council.
Douglas Williamson, secretary of Kildrummy Windfarm Action Group suggested that the recent decision by the Scottish Government to reject plans for a windfarm at Clashindarroch meant it would be “unreasonable and damaging” for Aberdeenshire Council to take issue with “such clear guidelines”.
He said: “The land at Kildrummy is of even greater environmental value.
“Since our Scottish Government thinks Clashindarroch is unacceptable, it is even less acceptable for Kildrummy.”
The Cairngorms National Park Authority also opposed the scheme and Scottish National Heritage and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds both noted concerns about the potential impact on wildlife.
Senior project manager Mark Crawford told the committee that he accepted the windfarm would have a significant impact on the landscape but argued there was a difference “between significant and unacceptable”.
Councillors were unanimous in their opposition to the scheme. Councillor Peter Argyle said regardless of their views on windfarms it contravened planning policy and should be rejected.
Councillor Marcus Humphrey added: “I think it is very simple. We have a policy about an area of landscape significance and this breaches it.”
Speaking after the meeting Mr Williamson said he was “absolutely delighted” by the decision.
26 September 2007