March 2, 2011

Windfarm scheme opponent faces backlash over his bid

By Jamie Buchan, The Press and Journal, 2 March 2011

The main opponent of a Buchan windfarm scheme is facing a backlash of his own after lodging plans for a twin-turbine development beside his home.

Jim Anderson argued successfully that a trio of masts earmarked for land near his private airfield at Hatton would have a “detrimental effect” on flights.

The scheme at Auchenten was subsequently rejected by councillors and is the subject of an appeal to the Scottish Government.

Mr Anderson has now tabled his own proposals for two 88ft turbines at his Ardiffery Mains home, between Hatton and Cruden Bay.

However, he has been told his own project could also interfere with flights – this time from Aberdeen Airport.

Bosses at Dyce have made a formal objection to council planning officers, calling for the scheme to be scrapped.

A representative from airport company BAA has claimed the turbines would have a detrimental effect on the work of air-traffic controllers. He said: “A significant number of visible turbines in this area already have planning approval and the introduction of further turbines would create unacceptable clutter on the radar screens. For this reason, we are objecting to this planning application.”

Mr Anderson’s proposed masts are about a third of the size of the 260ft machines which were planned for Auchenten.

However, they have already attracted criticism. Three neighbours have complained to the council about the scheme, claiming there are too many turbines in the area.

There are also concerns the development could spoil views and harm wildlife habitats.

Aberdeenshire Council planners confirmed they had also received a letter from one resident supporting the plan, claiming it shows “concern for the environment”.

Mr Anderson, who has owned the airstrip for 18 years, said last night he was working on a response to BAA’s objection and hoped the matter could be resolved in the coming weeks.

The Press and Journal revealed earlier this week that the discovery of badger setts at the Auchenten site could kill off the three-turbine plan proposed by Winchester doctor Gordon Masson and Green Cat Renewables. A ruling on the appeal by the Scottish Government is expected to be made in two weeks.

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