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Wind turbines plan for beauty spot is scaled down

A windfarm planned for a north-east beauty spot has been scaled down to try to reduce the visual impact on the area.

Plans for three wind turbines at Hillhead of Auquhirie, near Stonehaven, have been submitted to Aberdeenshire Council.

The proposal, by Brechin-based Auquhirie Land Co, seeks permission for three turbines each standing at 250ft.

The application replaces a previous proposal for three turbines of 300ft, which has not yet been passed by the council.

Local residents had objected to the original application, submitted in May 2006, concerned about how the development would affect the local landscape.

Lloyd Garvie, director of Auquhirie Land, said the change comes as a result of an environmental impact assessment. “We believe the changes should meet the requirements of the landscape. The previous application had various objections, not least was the height. Hopefully by reducing the height we will have satisfied at least some of the objections.”

If granted construction of the windfarm is not expected to take place until 2010 and would last between three and six months.

The turbines will sit next to a separate development of four turbines at Clochnahill, also of 250ft, to be built by local man Hugh Gordon.

Mr Garvie said: “The seven in total will appear as one windfarm and our turbines are height-sensitive to that.”

The Auquhirie application will be considered by members of Kincardine and Mearns area committee in the coming months.

By Leanna MacLarty

The Press and Journal

23 July 2008