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Hatton turbine plan ‘step too far’

Residents in rural Buchan are preparing to battle plans for the area’s biggest windfarm.

Green energy firm PNE Wind UK wants to install 12 turbines near Hatton, south of Peterhead.

The towers, which will generate enough electricity to power tens of thousands of homes, are earmarked for acres of farming land at Hill of Braco.

An application for planning permission is being drawn up and is likely to be lodged before the end of the year, but the scheme has already drawn a backlash from residents living on the edge of the site.

Locals have formed an “awareness group” to raise concerns about the project. A spokeswoman said: “We stress that we do not in any way oppose renewable energy. Some of our members have invested in their own renewable projects, but this is not a proper site for such a large-scale development.”

She said: “We as a group would like to see better planning regulations brought into force, with the emphasis being on more suitable minimum distance between homes and industrial turbines.”

Mintlaw resident Steve Quinn, 53, added: “I have no issues at all with any sensibly and properly planned windfarm projects, but I do when a project like this will blight so many peoples’ lives.”

He believes the shadow flicker caused by the spinning blades would be “nothing short of a nightmare”.

“Quite simply, Aberdeenshire Council needs to look long and hard at this colossal development and turn it down.”

Another opponent, Yvonne Glover, said the turbines could have a “devastating impact” on her home and Kinkockie.

“This is simply going a step too far in the wrong direction,” she said.

Concerns were first raised in 2009 when PNE lodged plans for a 210ft wind-measuring mast at Moss Side of Braco, on the outskirts of Hatton.

The scheme was approved by councillors despite about 40 objections from locals.

Last night, a spokeswoman for PNE said: “The Hill of Braco project is at an early phase of development and our plans are still very much in draft form.

“Over the coming months we will gather more information.”

She said following consultation with locals, it was agreed to host a series of public exhibitions in the coming weeks.