Plans for a windfarm in scenic north-east countryside, which have already proven controversial with local residents, have been submitted to Aberdeenshire Council.
The proposal for seven wind turbines at Cushnie, near Alford, has prompted the formation of two campaign groups who object to the scheme.
An environmental statement submitted with the application examined the visual impact of the turbines from 18 points of the surrounding countryside.
The report concludes that the turbines, which would reach a height of 410ft to the blade tip, would have a “substantial landscape and visual impact” for six of those viewpoints, a “moderate” impact on seven, and a “slight” impact on the remainder.
They would also be visible from the eastern boundary of Cairngorms National Park.
Chairman of Cushnie Wind Action Group, Ray King, said the campaigners are already analysing the extensive report and planning to submit their objection to the council as soon as possible.
He said: “They seem to admit the landscape is going to be affected.
“That’s going to help everyone who doesn’t want the turbines on the hills. It’s not a matter of winning or losing, it’s a matter of preserving what’s there for everybody.
It is estimated that construction on the 1,700-acre site could take between six and nine months to complete, beginning some time over the next two years.
The extensive application has been drawn up by Cushnie Wind Energy, a joint venture between energy firms Falck Renewables and RDC Scotland.
Fraser Mackenzie, project manager for agents Atmos Consulting, said: “You will be able to see the windfarm from Tarland, Cushnie and certain points in Cairngorms National Park. In terms of every other environmental aspect it’s quite a benign site.
“It will be up to the planning department to do the balancing act and see if the visual impact will outweigh the benefits that will accrue from the project. It is a relatively small-scale development but they will be some of the most productive turbines around at the moment.”
The application is due to be considered by members of Marr Area Committee in the coming months.
12 February 2008
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