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Contamination fears over land for quayside wind turbines  

Credit:  By Stephen Christie, The Press and Journal, www.pressandjournal.co.uk 16 April 2011 ~~

Land at Peterhead harbour earmarked for two huge quayside wind turbines could be contaminated, it has emerged.

Aberdeenshire Council assistant scientific officer Peter Exon has written to planners considering the project to say the site could contain hidden risks.

Peterhead Port Authority wants to erect a pair of 3ft masts on industrial land at Keith Inch and Green Hill.

The devices would be three times the size of the port’s shiplift building and would generate enough electricity to power thousands of homes.

Mr Exon says the Green Hill site was once home to a timber yard, while a quarry used to be located at Keith Inch.

The officer says both sites could have a history of pollution caused by the former Keith Inch landfill, as well as the “current and historical use of the site as part of the harbour”.

He said: “Should any contamination of the ground be discovered during development, the planning authority should be notified immediately. The extent and nature of the contamination should be investigated and a suitable scheme for the mitigation of any risks should be implemented.”

Concerns about the turbine plan have already been raised by council environment officer Hamish Robertson.

He said the proposal would be “detrimental” to the character of Peterhead’s central conservation zone.

“The shiplift is already a dominant and overbearing presence within the enclosed historic space that is Broad Street,” said Mr Robertson.

“The introduction of further overbearing features would result in a further erosion of its historic quality.

“This development will impinge upon the historic core of Peterhead in a major way.”

Port authority chief executive John Wallace said all comments about the project would be taken on board.

He claims the turbines would generate £750,000 a year while reducing the port’s carbon footprint, and has promised to pump some of the profits into a trust to support local ventures.

The deadline for public comments on the project is Thursday.

If the £6million scheme wins the backing of councillors, the 2.3MW turbines could be in place by autumn next year.

Source:  By Stephen Christie, The Press and Journal, www.pressandjournal.co.uk 16 April 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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