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Developer appeals rejection of Cuminestown wind-power plan

A controversial northeast wind-power scheme that was blocked by councillors earlier this year could be resurrected.

Developers have lodged an appeal against Aberdeenshire Council’s decision to reject plans for a pair of 260ft turbines on the edge of Cuminestown.

Alan Twatt, owner of Alan Twatt Potatoes Ltd, hoped the structures at Cairncake Farm would boost his business.

However, the proposal divided the community.

Local authority planners got 212 letters about the scheme – with 105 in support and 107 against.

Backers said the project was a positive way of tackling climate change and would benefit the local economy.

They argued the masts would have no detrimental impact on the surrounding landscape, which is about two miles south-west of Cuminestown.

Opponents claimed the turbines would be unsightly and too close to houses. A campaigngroupsetuptofight the plans – Concerned About Wind Turbines Cairncake Group – argued the masts could pose a safety hazard. Members also raised concerns about noise pollution and light flicker.

In April, members of Aberdeenshire Council’s Formartine area committee rejected the scheme on the basis it would be too close to neighbouring properties.

This was despite backing from council planners, who said the scheme adhered to policy.

Now, clean-energy group Green Cat Renewables has lodged an appeal with the Scottish Government against the committee’s decision on Mr Twatt’s behalf. Aberdeenshire Council has been given 21 days to respond.

Mr Twatt had tried originally to put up the masts nearer his potato business at Gamrie, but the plan was refused after objections from air traffic controllers.

Originally the Cuminestown masts were to be just under 330ft, but their height was reduced amid concerns.

There are 13 other wind turbine applications either proposed or installed within a six-mile radius of the Cairncake site.