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Energy company in bid to build new turbines at windfarm

The owners of a Mearns windfarm which went into operation last September want to erect more turbines at the site.

Energy company Eneco is investigating the potential to extend the Tullo windfarm near Laurencekirk.

The £26million operation currently comprises seven turbines – generating enough electricity to meet the needs of 9,000 homes, according to Eneco.

The company has submitted a provisional request to explore the possible extension of the project to Aberdeenshire Council.

If approved, it will define the issues which will be covered in the environmental impact assessment (EIA) required to support a planning application.

A spokeswoman for the company said the number and size of any new turbines had not yet been determined.

“Eneco is committed to communicating with, and responding quickly to, the interests and concerns of the local community throughout the planning process and development of the Tullo windfarm extension.

“Public consultation on the project will take place once elements of the EIA have been completed,” she said.

“The size of the turbines and resulting output will be guided by feedback during this consultation process, as well as by the findings of the EIA.”

The current windfarm provides an annual £17,000 fund for use by the local community, which is administered by the Mearns Area Partnership.

When the application for the current windfarm was put forward in 2005, supporters outnumbered objectors by three to one.

Objectors said the wind turbines would have a detrimental impact on the area’s landscape and character as they would be visible from a number of local viewpoints.

Other concerns included the turbines’ potential to distract motorists, possible effects on wildlife and a claim that house values would fall.

However, Aberdeenshire Council approved the plans, insisting most people backed the project.

Eneco has invited the public to submit comments on the proposed extension by e-mailing info@tullowind farm.co.uk

For more information visit www.tullowindfarm.co.uk