September 16, 2010

Wind turbine proposals fly into a storm of protest

By John Thomson, The Press and Journal, 16 September 2010

Proposals for the latest crop of wind turbines in Aberdeenshire have attracted a significant number of objections.

Councillors will consider three planning applications next week for a total of nine turbines in the Turriff and Cuminestown areas.

More than 40 objections and two indications of support have been received for the three schemes.

Proposed developments at Burnside of Idoch, Turriff and at Castle of Auchry, Cuminestown, have been deferred from previous meetings of the council’s Formartine area committee.

The third proposal is for three 262ft turbines at Cairnhill, Turriff, which would extend an existing three-turbine scheme.

Planning officers are recommending that the Burnside of Idoch application for three 262ft turbines should be delegated to the planning service to approve.

The proposed development has attracted 24 objections ranging from noise, visual impact, inadequate distance from neighbouring properties and a lack of specification about the turbine models.

Planning officer Victoria Moore said four turbines had been proposed originally but this had been reduced to three.

She said: “The revised layout will create a more visually-balanced array.”

She is recommending that planning consent should be granted, subject to a number of conditions.

The Castle of Auchry application for three 243ft turbines has drawn 11 letters of objections.

These range from the impact on the landscape to noise, impact on wildlife, precedent for future developments and safety concerns.

Planning officers are recommending it should not get planning permission.

They claim that taken with other turbines close by, the development would have “an unacceptable cumulative impact” on the area.

Ten objections have been tabled over the Cairnhill scheme, along with two letters in support.

Ms Moore said: “The existing Cairnhill development is simplistic and balanced and fits the character of the landscape.

“If the Castle of Auchry and Burnside of Idoch developments were to be granted, it is considered the impact of the additional turbines at Cairnhill would be inappropriate.”

She said the development could also affect a nearby radar service.

Aberdeenshire’s Formartine area councillors will consider the three turbine applications at a meeting on Tuesday.

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