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Windfarm objectors form group to fight plan  

Credit:  By John Thomson, The Press and Journal, 17 November 2011 ~~

A new action group has been formed to oppose plans for a major windfarm at a Buchan landmark.

Proposals for a 12-turbine scheme at Mormond Hill, Strichen, were unveiled earlier this year by Turriff-based Muirden Energy.

The 330ft masts on the slopes which carry a famous white horse monument would generate enough electrical power for tens of thousands of homes.

A proposed community benefit fund from windfarm profits would pump £50,000 a year into local projects.

The Turbine Free Mormond Hill Action Group has been formed following a meeting organised by Strichen community council to gauge local opinion.

Campaigners have arranged a series of public meetings in the area next week to air the plans and encourage public objection.

Action group spokeswoman Barbara-ann Burnett said: “Mormond Hill is a very important local landmark.

“Many people are expressing concern about the impact of an industrial-scale development on the landscape, the cultural and historical heritage of Buchan and on the natural environment, including wildlife habitats.

“Mormond Hill is enjoyed by people far and wide, such as walkers and riders, as a local amenity.

“People are also concerned about the potential noise and visual flicker caused by a large-scale development, in addition to the upheaval and traffic congestion which would be caused by the scheme.”

She said the extent of financial benefit to the local community and eligibility criteria, promised from the profits of the windfarm, was not clear.

She said the action group was “shocked” that the development had not been subjected to “an extensive public consultation process” rather than a few meetings which were organised by the developers.

The group has now organised public meetings next week which will be held at New Pitsligo Public Hall on Tuesday, November 22; Rathen Public Hall on Wednesday, November 23; Ritchie Hall, Strichen, on Thursday, November 24; and the Dalrymple Hall, Fraserburgh, on Friday, November 25.

The meetings will last from 7:30pm-9pm.

Muirden Energy held local consultation meetings earlier this year and claimed the majority of people who attended were in support of the proposed windfarm.

As a result of public concerns that one turbine could affect the famous white horse on the hill, the plans were amended.

Company business development manager Alex Fowlie was not available yesterday for comment on the new action group.

Source:  By John Thomson, The Press and Journal, 17 November 2011

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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