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Equestrian centre owner opposing turbines plan  

Credit:  By John Thomson, The Press and Journal, 11 February 2012 ~~

The owner of a north-east equestrian centre fears a proposed wind turbine development near her premises could mean the end of her business.

Fiona Mackinnon, of Balhagan Equestrian Services, near Banff, is opposed to a scheme for two turbines at Newton of Foulzie.

She said: “The proposed turbines are only about 700 yards away from my property and they will affect the animals and my customers.

“Horses can be spooked if they see something in the corner of an eye and if they take fright they can bolt.

“I am worried about possible accidents and if these turbines get the go-ahead I might have to close down.”

A planning application for the turbines has been lodged with Aberdeenshire Council by E-gen Partners Ltd of Berwick.

The structures would each be 260ft to the blade tips.

The period for public views to be made known expires on Monday.

Miss Mackinnon opened her centre at The Stables, Bruntyards, Banff, almost five years ago. Her yard is an accredited premises for starting and schooling by the British Horse Society.

A major part of the business is breaking and schooling horses and training their owners.

She said: “We take horses who have never had riders on them and they can be as wild as the hills. We have youngsters who come here and a disabled rider and we also hold clinics.

“I have already lost a couple of clients who are concerned about the risks if the turbines go up.”

The centre has 15 acres of land and can cater for up to 15 horses at any one time.

Mark Weston, of the British Horse Society, said: “We believe horses react to blade shadow, blades starting to turn and noise from turbines.”

He said the society recommended turbines should be sited four times their height away from ride trails and three times their height from routes.

Miss Mack innon claimed the proposed turbines at Newton of Foulzie would not meet that criteria.

The planning application is likely to be considered by Aberdeenshire councillors this spring.

Source:  By John Thomson, The Press and Journal, 11 February 2012

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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