Campaigners fighting to preserve the beauty of the Deveron Valley have been celebrating a rare victory against the march of industrial-sized wind turbines across Aberdeenshire.
Councillors – working with possibly the most lax planning guidelines in the country concerning turbine applications – backed their planners’ recommendation by six votes to four that a single 80-metre structure high above Marnoch, near Aberchirder, should be opposed because of the impact it would have on many category A and B-listed monuments and buildings in the surrounding area.
The decision by Aberdeenshire Council’s Banff and Buchan area committee is a heavy blow for the applicant, Norman Bruce, of Mossford Farm, Rothiemay. It was suggested that he had bought the 100-acre property at over market value three years ago, with the aim of reaping the benefits of large payments for producing wind energy.
Objector Tom Burnett-Stewart told the meeting that the large premium to market price would be “a flea bite compared to the annual £200,000 income from the turbine”.
Mr Bruce, in his presentation on why his application should be passed, said he needed to generate income from renewable energy to make his farm viable.
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