Residents in the Mearns are being asked for their views on extending a planned windfarm by an extra nine turbines.
Developer Fred Olsen Renewables is hoping to increase the scale of the site at Mid Hill, two miles north of Glenbervie. Permission for the 25-turbine windfarm, near Cairn o’ Mount, was granted four years ago but building work has been delayed by problems with connecting to the national grid.
At the moment connection is scheduled for between 2015-2018, but Clare Edwards of consultants Natural Power, said this could change.
The original application for 25 turbines proved controversial, with objectors travelling from as far as New York, Kansas and London to voice their concerns.
Opponents were worried that the turbines would become a visual blight on the north-east beauty spot.
The application was given consent in 2004.
The latest move is not the first expansion tabled.
Earlier this year an application to boost the capacity of the windfarm from 50MW to 75MW was granted by the Scottish Government.
Plans to increase the height of the five smallest turbines by 32ft were also approved.
Ms Edwards said: “We realised that the turbines we had been looking to use were no longer available and we needed to use larger turbines.”
Now the developer is hoping to add nine additional 410ft turbines.
The views of local residents are being sought before a planning application is submitted.
The two-day public exhibition begins tomorrow at Auchenblae Village Hall between 2-7pm. It moves to the Douglas Arms Hotel in Banchory the following day at the same times.
By Leanna MacLarty
23 June 2008
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