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Planners want councillors to reject windfarm proposal

A north-east windfarm plan, which has attracted complaints from more than 100 residents, faces being rejected next week.

Councillors have been urged to throw out an application to build three major turbines on land at Auchenten, near Hatton.

It has been argued the 276ft masts could cause problems for planes using nearby airstrips.

Residents living around the site believe the development would also be unsightly, could disrupt television and radio signals, deter tourists and devalue their properties.

Aberdeenshire Council said it had received 174 letters of complaint from 124 households. Now, local authority planners have also called for the bid to be rejected.

They say the scheme could have a “detrimental impact” on nearby Hatton airstrip.

Planning officers say the runway is placed so that arrivals and departures are to the west, where the turbines are planned.

A spokesman said: “This service is not satisfied that it has been unequivocally demonstrated that the proposal will not have a detrimental impact upon the safety aspects of the airstrip operations.”

Members of the Buchan area committee will be asked to reject the scheme at their next meeting at Peterhead on Tuesday.

The plan has been proposed by Gordon Masson, 65, who owns land at Hatton but lives at Sutton Scotney, near Winchester, Hampshire. He has been working with windfarm specialists Green Cat Renewables.

Scottish Natural Heritage has also criticised the plans, saying thousands of migrating geese, who occupy north-east nature reserves in winter, could be at risk. SNH estimates more than 9,000 of the birds could be in danger.

Members of Cruden Community Council also objected. They said there had been little consultation on the scheme and argued it would bring no benefit to the local area. Both opponents of the plans and the developer are expected to speak at the Buchan area meeting.