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Hatton turbine plan at airstrip rejected

Residents fighting plans for a windfarm near a Buchan airstrip celebrated last night after the project was thrown out by councillors.

The three 276ft turbines, earmarked for land at Auchenten, near Hatton, prompted over 170 letters from objectors who claimed the masts would have been loud, ugly and could have devalued properties.

Council officials, meanwhile, said the developer behind the scheme, Green Cat Renewables, had failed to show the proposal would not have had a “detrimental impact” on Hatton airstrip.

Pilot Jim Anderson, who has owned the private airstrip for 18 years, said his main argument was the three-bladed turbines would endanger aircraft taking off and landing at Hatton.

Buchan councillors agreed yesterday and refused planning permission.

Mr Anderson, of Ardiffery, near Hatton, said later: “My main concern was for the visiting pilots who would not be familiar with the lie of the land and unaware that a windfarm development was nearby. If the company had proposed it for the other side of the A90 (Aberdeen to Peterhead road) I would have been quite happy.”

Another objector, David Moore, of Moss Croft, near Ellon, hoped the decision would spell the end of a “very stressful year”. He was joined by protesters who shook hands and congratulated one another outside Arbuthnot House, Peterhead, where the meeting took place. Mr Moore said: “This application was totally inappropriate and the decision confirms that.”

Dr Gordon Masson, of Sutton Scotney, Hampshire, was behind the plan and had been working with Green Cat Renewables on the scheme.

At a previous meeting, his agents said he would be willing to pay for the runway to be rerouted so that planes flew away from the turbines.

Mr Anderson refused the offer, saying he had no interest in the money.

Scottish Natural Heritage also criticised the plans, saying thousands of migrating geese, which occupy north-east nature reserves in winter, could be at risk. No one from Green Cat Renewables was available for comment.