A bid to situate three 275ft-high wind turbines overlooking a Banff beauty spot has been withdrawn.
The application for hill-top turbines at Mossford Farm, at Marnoch, near Aberchirder, prompted a furious response, with more than 230 objections lodged with Aberdeenshire Council.
However, while opponents of the application welcome its withdrawal they are not allowing themselves to get too excited.
One Marnoch resident, who did not want named, explained to the ‘Banffshire Journal: “In spite of general jubilation at the news, no one believes that the application has gone away for good. There is just as likely to be a fresh application in the future.”
George Burnett-Stewart, of Ardmeallie House, Aberchirder, a mile away from the proposed site, said: “You could say I am cautiously pleased. I am very conscious that the application might come back in another form.”
He added: “I felt the visual impact would have been inappropriate at Moss of Crombie which is a lovely place, and it would also have been awful to impose the turbines on those living closest to the site.”
The £3.5 million application for three turbines and an electricity substation was lodged a few months ago by Norman Bruce, occupant of the 85-acre Mossford Farm, bought in 2008.
However, the proposal immediately found strong, local opponents who felt the structures would be a blight on the stunning Deveron Valley.
The Marnoch and Deveron Valley Protection Group was quickly formed to fight the introduction of turbines.
After the developer, Mr Bruce, acknowledged they would have to be run at reduced speeds to keep their noise levels down, the protection group chairwoman, Jacky Player, said: “It begs the question why they should go up. They may just cost the taxpayer in terms of renewable energy subsidies while wrecking a protected landscape.”
She was unavailable for comment this week, and the ‘Banffshire Journal’ was unable to contact Mr Bruce.
The turbines would have been placed on the Crombie Moss skyline in full view of neighbouring Aberchirder and tourists passing through the valley which Aberdeenshire Council has designated as an “area of landscape significance”.
Opponents said the structures would have “dwarfed their historically important and beautiful surroundings”, dominating the skyline above Marnoch Old Church, birthplace of ‘the Disruption’, the religious upheaval that created the Free Church and shaped the life of Scotland for much of the 19th and 20th centuries.
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