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Plans for turbines get thumbs down

Controversial plans to site four wind turbines near a historic monument were rejected yesterday.

The joint bid from four local farmers for land close to the C-listed Prop of Ythsie landmark, near Tarves, was turned down by members of the Formartine area committee.

The decision followed a concerted campaign by local residents, who formed the No Ythanbank Turbines group in protest at the scheme.

The 238ft structures would have been spread across Douglashead, Upper Ardlethen, Milton of Ardlethen and Little Ythsie farms – all located between the Ellon to Methlick stretch of the B9005 and the Tarves to Pitmedden section of the B999.

The proposal from Yowlie Energy Ltd prompted 435 letters of representation to local authority planners – nearly 350 of those in opposition.

Planning chiefs argued the scheme would have a detrimental impact on the Prop of Ythsie tower, erected in memory of the fourth Earl of Aberdeen in 1861. Speaking after yesterday’s meeting, Ellon and district councillor Rob Merson said there were problems with the proposed siting of the turbines which would have been located on either side of the Ellon to Tarves road.

He said: “Concerns were expressed about the proximity to the road and the fact that the development effectively crosses the road. That would have a fairly major impact on the local area, and I personally could not have supported the application in that form.”

Members of the committee unanimously rejected the application.

A separate bid for a 321ft turbine at Hill of Easterton, Rothienorman, which would be used to power Mackies Ice Cream Dairy, was deferred by councillors. The Rothienorman dairy first began using wind energy in 1983 and now has three turbines on the Hill of Easterton.

The committee was told the applicant is still working towards a resolution with the British Airports Authority over an outstanding objection to the plan. There is also an issue with the council’s environmental health department over the cumulative noise impact of the turbines.

The planning application will be considered at a future meeting of the area committee.