August 18, 2011

Windfarm plans are put on hold

Donside Piper and Herald, 18 August 2011

Proposals to build new turbines near a controversial windfarm in Donside have been put on hold by councillors.

At a meeting of Aberdeenshire Council’s Marr area committee at Huntly on Tuesday, members were asked to back plans at Cushnie Farm, Rhynie.

Bulb farmer G. and A. Webster is seeking planning permission for the development at Cushnie.

The 88ft turbines would be located close to the Cairnmore windfarm, which has three 265ft structures.

Locals set up a campaign group to oppose a planned expansion which would more than double the size of the Cairnmore operation.

Council officials recommended approval of the scheme, as the proposed turbines would be more that 2000ft from Cairnmore, which is considered an acceptable distance.

The committee also heard that the nearest house is more than 700ft away.

Concerns were raised by councillors over the cumulative visual impact of another development, as well as increased noise levels that could be generated by adding extra turbines.

Huntly, Strathbogie and Howe of Alford councillor Alistair Ross said that the issue of cumulative noise could present difficulties in terms of enforcement.

He questioned which site would be required to make changes if the sound exceeded permitted levels.

Councillor Richard Stroud said that two earlier applications for the same area came before the committee with a warning from planners that the land was already at the “absolute capacity” for wind turbine developments.

Mr Stroud suggested that members of the committee should visit the site to assess the potential visual impact of the turbines, and to get an impression of the noise levels already coming from the Cairnmore site. His motion was seconded by Mr Ross.

Committee members will visit the site this month, before the next meeting in Tullynessle on September 6.

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