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Wind turbine would interfere with RAF radar

Full planning permission is being sought for the erection of a wind turbine (height 45.45m) at Monyruy, Longside.

An application for the turbine, from Colin Mair, will go before members of the Buchan area committee when they meet in Peterhead later today (Tuesday). Members will hear that this is one of two applications for wind turbines on land at Monyruy Farm.

The application initially proposed the erection of two 45.5 metre high wind turbines on farmland to the north of Monyruy Farm, but in response to concerns raised by consultees the application has been amended to one turbine only.

Councillors will hear that a total of 18 representations were received (20 letters in total), in support of the application. The letters stated that renewable energy should be supported; welcomed additional financial income to the local area; claimed the wind turbines would reduce farm business costs and provide a lower carbon footprint, and would have no adverse impacts on the character of the area due to the size.

In a report to go before today’s meeting, planning officer David MacLennan said: “The application site is not within an area of any special environmental or landscape designation. The planning service is satisfied that the turbine will not be overly dominant in the landscape due to the nature of this landscape and the distance between the proposed turbine and the nearest other approved turbines which will allow it to appear as an acceptable feature in the landscape.

“The principle issue with regards this application and the replacement turbine being considered has been the impact of the turbine on telecommunications and airfields.

“It was during discussions on how the issue with Ericsson could be resolved that Defence Estates raised an objection to both applications.

“The primary issue is now the impact upon the defence radar at RAF Buchan. The turbine will impact upon radar as the turbine can desensitise radar detection in the locality and create false aircraft returns on monitoring screens which would impact upon the ability of the RAF to provide a full surveillance service in the vicinity of the turbine.

“As a result of this the application, and despite earlier objections being resolved, this application is recommended for refusal as the proposal does not comply with policy regarding renewable energy facilities of the Local Plan.

“The proposed turbine is likely to have an adverse impact upon the operation of the military radar system at RAF Buchan and as such is contrary to council policy regarding renewable energy facilities,” he added.

Members will be asked to refuse consent for the development.