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Pilots’ lives could be put at risk by wind turbines, claims flying club

Plans to build wind turbines near a northeast aerodrome could put pilots’ lives at risk, a local flying club has claimed.

A bid for two green energy masts on the outskirts of Peterhead are facing rejection after concerns about their potentially deadly impact on small aircraft travelling to and from Longside Airfield.

Developer Jim Mackintosh wants to fit the 150ft turbines near his home at Mains of Buthlaw, Glendaveny.

Unlike other schemes, the proposals have garnered no objections from residents and have been backed by, among others, Aberdeen Airport, the Civil Aviation Authority and the Ministry of Defence, which runs the nearby RAF Buchan surveillance base at Stirlinghill.

North-east Aviators, the group which leases Longside Airfield, has tabled a bid to block the plan, however.

In a letter to the local authority, vice- chairman Walter Oswald said: “Our main concern is one of safety.

“Any high obstacle close to the airfield will form a hazard to aircraft.”

He said if a plane hit a mast it could result in a “fatal accident”.

The earmarked site is less than a mile from the aerodrome, which was previously used by the Royal Air Force and is operated by CHS Scotia.

Aberdeenshire Council planners have called for the scheme to be rejected based on its potential impact on airfield users.

Buchan area councillors this week agreed to visit the site before ruling on planning permission.

Peterhead South councillor Sam Coull called for the scheme to be rejected.

He said: “This might not be such a problem for pilots from the area, who are familiar with the layout of the land.

“But there are many visitors to Longside who won’t know the area as well and this could be a real hazard for them.”

Councillors voted seven to two in favour of a site visit.

They are expected to make a decision on planning consent before year.

Mr Mackintosh said last night: “It has been very frustrating.

“The airfield runway goes from east to west and our turbines are to the north, so I can’t see what the problem is.

“These are only small masts compared to other ones which have been approved nearby.”