BBC has warned that over 500 homes at Balmedia could suffer – but committee chooses to back plans
Taxpayers will have to foot the repair bill if a school wind turbine interferes with television signals in a north-east village.
Members of Formartine area committee yesterday backed proposals to erect the turbine at Balmedie Primary in Aberdeenshire – despite warnings from the BBC that televisions in more than 500 homes could be affected.
Planners revealed that the local authority would be responsible for correcting – and paying for – any problems that develop.
In a report that went before the committee yesterday, the head of development management and building standards, Raymond Reid, supported proposals for a 60ft wind turbine. He said it would be positioned around 140ft from the school and 360ft from the nearest house.
However, a consultation with the BBC concluded two television transmitters could be affected if the turbine was erected, impacting the signal in 537 homes.
Mr Reid said the applicant – Aberdeenshire Council – would have to find a solution to the problem at its own expense if that proved to be the case.
Chairman John Loveday said the application had not been thought out properly. This was reiterated by Mid Formartine councillor Jim Gifford, who suggested the school only wanted a turbine because Cults Primary, in Aberdeen, had erected one.
The committee concluded there was no reason to reject the plans under the authority’s planning policy. It agreed to back the application with a number of conditions.
Members insisted on further consultation to establish how much the potential problem with television signals could cost the authority and more consultation with people living in the area.
By Emma Christie
23 April 2008
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