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Row blows up over farmer’s windfarm plan  

Credit:  By Jamie Buchan, The Press and Journal, www.pressandjournal.co.uk 4 January 2011 ~~

A row has erupted over plans to build a windfarm in the heart of Aberdeenshire.

Energy firm Green Cat Renewable wants to build three industrial turbines on a two-and-a-half acre site at Mains of Auchinderran at Aberchirder.

The Midlothian firm has lodged proposals for a trio of 260ft structures on behalf of north-east-based Auchinderran Windfarm.

They are expected to generate enough electricity to power 1,350 homes every year.

Farmer Brian Greig, of Mains of Auchinderran, wants to build the turbines as part of a diversification plan.

The Greig family won planning permission recently to build four holiday lodges near the site in an effort to lure tourists into the area.

But the windfarm plan is facing a fierce backlash from locals, as well as people who holiday regularly in the area.

A group of concerned residents has gone as far as to set up an action group against the scheme called AllCAFT (All Concerned About Foggie Turbines).

The group has its own website to co-ordinate objections and a Facebook page with 71 members.

impact

Opponents argue that the turbines will have an “overbearing” impact on nearby homes and would destroy the scenery.

There are also concerns that nearby residents could be at risk if one of the turbines should develop a fault or even break apart.

An AllCAFT spokesman said: “The potential local benefits to the community and economy do not outweigh the significant loss of amenity as well as the health and safety risk to nearby residents.”

Objectors also argue the development would be noisy and lead to more traffic.

Aberdeenshire Council planners said it had re- ceived 324 letters and e-mails about the planned development.

Some objections have come from tourists from as far afield as Canada, who claim the turbines will spoil the countryside and lead to a downturn in visitors.

However, there are almost as many letters in support of the scheme as there are objections.

Many supporters argue renewable energy projects should be encouraged and claim the Greig family’s business is “vital to the local area”.

The plans are being considered by Aberdeenshire Council officers and are expected to go before members of the Banff and Buchan area committee in the coming weeks.

No one at Mains of Auchinderran was available to comment yesterday.

Source:  By Jamie Buchan, The Press and Journal, www.pressandjournal.co.uk 4 January 2011

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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