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Council fear turbine “done deal”

Mearns Community Council have lodged an objection to an 81m wind turbine at Brigton, Laurencekirk, but with planning officials making a recommendation of approval they fear they are wasting their time.

Chairman David Nelson told the council that the application was due to go before the area committee next week.

“We have already objected to this turbine as it is right in the middle of arable farmland.

“The planners are recommending approval, which goes completely against our wishes.”

Member Alan Mowat commented: “If this one is approved, then every farmer will be jumping in to have one and it will be impossible to say no.”

Secretary Marjorie Stewart said: “Why do they ask us to comment if absolutely no notice is taken of what we say?”

Councillor Jean Dick said that elected representatives have to be guided by policy and the recommendation of officials, but Mr Mowat retorted that Aberdeenshire Council’s policy on windfarms was “not fit for purpose.”

Councillor George Carr said they were dealing in subjectivity. Scottish Government guidelines on windfarms were vague and they were dealing with the consequences.

Chris Rushbridge asked what had happened to five other applications for turbines on the floor of the howe which had been withdrawn.

Mr Nelson replied that they were 51m in height and if they are over 50m an environmental impact assessment is required.

“These will be resubmitted as 49m turbines and it will be a different application.”

The community council have already objected to the five applications but if they are brought back as a new application, the objection will have to be restated.

Mr Nelson asked for a volunteer to represent the council at the area committee to oppose the Brigton turbine.

Mr Jim Stuart said he would consider doing the job, but expressed the view that the outcome was a “done deal.”