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Decision puts windfarm plan back on track  

Plans for a windfarm in Aberdeenshire look set to be approved by the Scottish Government after the main objection to the scheme was withdrawn.

An application to build four 250ft wind turbines at Clochnahill, near Stonehaven, was rejected by Aberdeenshire Council in March based entirely on an objection from the British Airports Authority.

The BAA were worried that the turbines would be detected on air traffic control radars at Aberdeen Airport, meaning flights would have to be rerouted around the site.

After comparing the plans with similar turbines at the Mackies Ice Cream farm near Rothienorman, BAA has now concluded that there would not be a big enough impact to justify their opposition.

In July, applicant Hugh Gordon lodged an appeal with the Scottish Government against the council’s decision and a public inquiry is due to take place on December 12 before the final decision can be made.

“We have notified the Scottish Government that we are no longer insisting our opposition to the application and will not be appearing at the public inquiry,” said a spokesman for Aberdeenshire Council.

The government has confirmed that the applicants have decided to go ahead with the public inquiry, instead of submitting a fresh application to the council.

A spokesman said that because neither BAA or the council were planning to attend, it was “highly likely” that the public inquiry would be downgraded to a hearing.

Power from the turbines will be used by the farm. Isobel Gordon, Mr Gordon’s sister, said that the family were not going to celebrate too early.

A small number of objections were raised by residents concerned about the environmental impact of the wind turbines, but the overall response has been positive.

Stephen Hall, secretary of the Catterline, Kinneff and Dunnottar Community Council, said: “The Gordon family are well known and respected within the community and they have been very keen to be involved with the discussions.”

The Press and Journal

16 November 2007

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