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Hopes for windfarm plan may be dashed  

A group of north-east farmers granted permission to create a windfarm three months ago could have their hopes dashed this week after council officials marked the project for refusal.

The applicants, known collectively as the Methlick Farmers, plan to erect four 295ft windmills on land close to Haddo Estate in Aberdeenshire – and were given the nod from the Formartine area committee in June.

But the project goes outwith the limits of Aberdeenshire Council’s local plan and now needs to go before the infrastructure services committee for a final decision on Thursday.

The families behind the Aberdeenshire project were granted permission for turbines on a spread-out area between Fyvie and Tarves after months of speculation and backlash from objectors.

On June 26 this year the Formartine area committee approved two turbines near Haddo Estate and single structures at Courtstone and Denhill, while plans for two others were blocked.

But in a report to go before councillors on Thursday, director of planning and environmental services Christine Gore recommends the plans are rejected because it would have “an adverse impact on the character of the area” and because the four wind turbines would have an “unacceptable cumulative impact”.

She adds that the development, which has attracted 253 letters of objection and 215 in support of the project, could be “possibly dominant or overbearing”.

However, the planning boss also outlines a range of conditions which the Methlick Farmers would have to adhere to should the infrastructure committee go against her recommendation.

Mrs Gore says the turbines and site must be appropriately decommissioned when required, that TV and radio interference must be eliminated, that issues with the British Airports Authority (BAA) must be rectified, and that a lump sum must be contributed to a project benefiting the community, in the form of planning gain.

She highlights a further 23 required conditions related to the operation of the site.

Councillors on the infrastructure services committee will consider the applications at a meeting at Woodhill House in Aberdeen on Thursday.

The Press and Journal

2 October 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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