May 5, 2012

Call for windfarm freeze

Mearns Leader, 4 May 2012

Mearns Community Council are to lodge objections to windfarm developments at Brownieleys, Fordoun and Kenshot Hill.

By objecting, the community council are remaining consistent to their previously expressed view that there should be no more windfarm developments in the Mearns until Aberdeenshire Council formulates a clear and concise policy.

The community council have had no reply from Aberdeenshire Council to their call for a freeze on windfarms until a policy is worked out.

Aberdeenshire Council was criticised by the reporters looking into the local plan for their lack of windfarm policy and they instructed them to put a proper policy in place within 12 months.

Council chairman Jim Stuart questioned why windfarm developers want to come to this area, claiming that the average windspeed on the floor of the Howe was the lowest in Scotland.

Alan Mowat said it was because there had been zero policy up until now. “I think any wind turbines granted at the moment when there is no proper policy in place could be legally challenged and the challenge might have a fair chance of success.”

Councillor George Carr said a new policy was being worked on, but in the meantime they were using the policies laid down in the 2006 Local Plan.

“The whole area has changed in terms of windfarms since 2006, but in the meantime we must work to that plan.”

Mr Mowat said: “The new policy should have a minimum distance turbines should be from houses. At the moment Aberdeenshire uses 400m but it is much greater elsewhere.

“There should also be specific areas allocated for turbines.

“At the moment turbines are being put forward as farm diversification but it is gross industrialisation instead.”

The council agreed to write again to Aberdeenshire Council, echoing the feelings previously expressed that there should be a freeze on windfarms.

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