A storm could be on the horizon over plans for even taller wind turbines in a picturesque North-east community.
A company that wants to build a windfarm at the Hill of Fiddes in Udny has claimed bigger structures are a “better environmental option”.
But Broadview’s stance could put it on a collision course with Aberdeenshire Council, which wants to keep turbines from becoming a blot on the landscape.
Broadview’s planning application states: “If large structures are to be introduced to the landscape, the design team believes the objective should be to maximise the benefits.”
The London-based company wants to erect three 335ft (102 metre) turbines, which it believes will have an “acceptable visual impact”.
Originally it wanted to put up 394ft (120m) turbines. The council wanted it to keep them at 256ft (78m) but this was rejected by the developer.
Broadview said the 335ft turbines will generate 2.6 times as much energy as the smaller ones.
Out of 225 turbines approved in the UK in the first half of the year, only eight were below 80m. And five of those were in Aberdeenshire.
Broadview has claimed sourcing smaller turbines could become difficult in future as manufacturers had discontinued some of them.
Planners have yet to make a recommendation on the proposal, which could be considered by councillors next month.
A council spokesman said: “There has to be a balance between the impact on the environment and the efficiency of the turbine, and officers are taking the view there are some parts of the Aberdeenshire landscape that simply can’t accommodate taller turbines.
“We are conscious that technology is changing all the time and a briefing paper on the various issues surrounding wind turbines, such as environmental impact, efficiency and economic impact, is due to be produced for councillors in the next few months.”
Broadview managing director Jeff Corrigan said the company had carried out in-depth studies of the area to test whether the turbines would be too large.
He said: “Our view has not changed since the papers were given to the council. We believe that this area of Aberdeenshire can accommodate turbines of this size.”
9 October 2007
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