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Plan for port turbines under fire

A twin turbines scheme planned for a north-east harbour has been criticised by a leading environmental charity.

RSPB Scotland fears the £2million green energy project proposed for Fraserburgh could pose a risk to seabirds roosting nearby.

Broch harbour bosses want to erect a pair of 250ft wind turbines at the quayside, and say they could help safeguard the future of the harbour.

The aim is to make money to invest back into port activities by selling off electricity to the national grid, but the future of the scheme has been thrown into jeopardy after a series of complaints.

The Ministry of Defence has already objected to the plan, claiming the turbines could interfere with radar equipment at RAF Buchan, some 20 miles away.

Last month, civilian air traffic controllers raised concerns that the development could give false readings on radar units at Aberdeen Airport.

Now, RSPB Scotland has submitted a formal objection to Aberdeenshire Council planners. The charity said it had concerns about the potential impact on European shags, which roost near to one of the planned turbines.

A spokesman has called for further information about the number of seabirds in the area, claiming the figures put forward in an environmental statement – by Green Cat Renewables on behalf of Fraserburgh Harbour Commissioners – are wrong.

He said: “We’re concerned that there could be numerous shag collisions with turbines located within Fraserburgh harbour, as well as substantial disturbance to a key daytime and night-time roost site.

“We are concerned that data provided by the environmental statement is inadequate to accurately assess these risks.”

No one from Green Cat Renewables could be reached for comment night.

When the scheme was revealed to the public last year, harbourmaster Andrew Ironside said the turbines had been designed to fit in with the industrial quayside.