Residents in the Aberchirder area are being urged to oppose a fresh application to site a wind turbine at Mossford Farm in the Deveron Valley.
A new application has been lodged for a lone 275-feet-high wind turbine overlooking Marnoch Old Church and its ancient cemetery.
An earlier application for three turbines on the same site was withdrawn late last year in the face of more than 300 objections.
Local opponents this week claimed that the single turbine will be just as out of place on the Deveron Valley skyline as the original three planned by the owner of Mossford farm, Norman Bruce.
They said that nearby residents were still likely to be affected by noise, in spite of a reduction in the number of turbines.
Jacky Player from the Marnoch and Deveron Valley Protection Group (MDVPG) also warned that because the turbine was treated as a new application, none of the objections lodged against the three original turbines could be considered by councillors – even if the site and arguments are the same.
She told the ‘Banffshire Journal’ this week: “Hundreds if not thousands of people visit Marnoch cemetery every year to pay their respects and visit family graves. It is almost impossible to imagine a more peaceful setting – an ancient and historic church and cemetery in an idyllic Scottish river valley. It should be on Visitscotland posters. However, unless we all make an effort to object once more, there is a chance that this turbine could be approved.”
She claimed that the noise calculations submitted by the developer contained an unacceptable margin of error. “No amount of double glazing is going to reduce noise levels outside in the garden,” she argued.
Mrs Player urged all those who had objected to the first application to do so again in writing or via Aberdeenshire Council’s website, looking for application APP/2010/4064.
Another objection by MDVPG is that the Deveron Valley is an area of exceptional beauty which would be blighted by wind turbines. Aberdeenshire Council has designated it as an ‘Area of Landscape Significance’.
Three turbines are also planned by Brian Greig of Mains of Auchinderran Farm, just north of Aberchirder.
Residents there claim that noise will blight nearby housing, deter visitors and affect holiday cottage lets.
MDVPG said that concerns over the effect of turbines on small-scale tourism were raised in the Scottish Government’s 2007/8 wind farm report from Glasgow Caledonian University. It showed that the loss of only a few visitors can disproportionately disrupt small and fragile rural economies.
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