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Wind farm ‘bribe’ blown out by OAP

A pensioner has revealed how energy bosses offered her a £750-a-year “bribe” to stay silent about plans to build more wind turbines near her home.

Joan Robinson, 84, was promised the sum by Greenspan Electric Cairnmore as a “goodwill gesture”.

In return, she had had to sign a form promising not to object to proposals for five new turbines half a mile from her remote country house in Rhynie, Aberdeenshire.

But the retired BT supervisor refused – because the racket made by the three 265ft devices already there is making her life a MISERY.

She said yesterday: “They wanted me just to sit up here and keep my mouth shut.

“I was asked to sign a form which said I wouldn’t complain about noise, future disturbance and various other things.

“It was put to me as a goodwill gesture but it seemed to be no more than a bribe.”

Joan retired to her idyllic retreat in 1986 – but claims her peace was shattered last year when the windfarm was erected.

She said the constant noise from the swishing blades had forced her to move out of her bedroom – and she even has to wear EARMUFFS whenever she is out in the garden.

Joan said: “If I’d known about the turbines all those years ago then I would never have moved here.

“I’m constantly aware of the swish of the blades. It’s like having a helicopter on your doorstep.”

Joan is among hundreds who have complained about plans for the five new 265ft structures to Aberdeenshire Council.

However, Greenspan say the extra turbines will allow the site to power 3,700 homes – and could generate a £10,000 windfall for the local community.

Last night a spokesman said Joan had accepted their offer earlier in the year, but then revoked it.

He added: “Scottish planning policy encourages developers to engage with communities prior to the submission of planning applications.

“The offer was meant as a goodwill gesture.”

But north-east Labour MSP Richard Baker said: “Companies should not be offering financial benefit as a bribe to people not to object.”

A final decision on the wind turbines will be made by the council next month.