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Giant turbines given go-ahead

Planning permission was granted yesterday (September 13) for the erection of four 2.3mw wind turbines on land at Overside and Greenwellheads Farms at Crimond.

The application from Greenside Wind Energy Ltd of Ednie House, St. Fergus went before members of the Buchan area committee last week and was approved subject to three legal requirements.

The firm wants to erect four, 99.5m turbines on the site along with associated substation, hardstandings, foundations and service track on a site located to the west of the A90 and the former Strathbeg House Hotel/Keyhead area.

Buchan councillors heard that 51 representations were received for the proposal – 27 in support and 24 against.

The council’s infrastructure services concluded in relation to landscape and visual impact that this application should not be supported.

Councillor Howie told members: “Here in Aberdeenshire we have a wonderful wind resource and we should use it. I can’t think of a better place for the turbines to be located.”

Councillor Thomas added: “I think having these four decent sized windmills is much more responsible than having 12 small ones. I think we should go with this one, however I do feel at some point we will have to say when we have reached saturation point.”

Councillor Smith moved that the recommendation be agreed and asked: “Do we really want Buchan to become a windfarm?”

With 6 votes to motion the recommendation and 5 agreeing to the amendment, Councillor Smith’s decision was defeated and the application was approved subject to the three legal requirements.

These being that the environmental health assess the proposal in particular the noise and shadow flicker issue, that the applicant needs to have discussions with the RSPB and SNH regarding the cessation of shooting at the site and the planning service need to assess that the application will have no adverse impact on the Loch of Strathbeg’s specially protected area, and should it, it will be required to go back in front of members.