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‘Convenient’ mistakes in peer’s turbine plans  

Credit:  By Shona Gossip | The Press and Journal | 24 July 2012 ~~

Opponents of a Liberal Democrat peer’s plans to build three wind turbines in Aberdeenshire have accused his agents of making “convenient” mistakes in a background report.

Nicol Stephen, now Lord Stephen, wants to build the 325ft masts in Donside, but has twice had his plans sent back to the drawing board due to errors in the environmental statement.

Earlier this month it emerged the former deputy first minister’s green energy firm Renewable Energy Ventures had submitted the controversial plans – which previously attracted more than 200 objections – for a third time.

Campaign group Stop Turbines in Cushnie (STiC) claim the application still contains “careless mistakes” and believe it has been rushed through.

They previously said the environmental statement, compiled by Lord Stephen’s agent Green Cat Renewables, “hugely underestimated” the visual impact on homes.

Now they have suggested information supplied in the environmental statement about the distance of the turbines from several private water supplies is inaccurate.

The document acknowledges a regulation which states there should be a 820ft (250metre) distance between any development and a well or spring.

As such, the report shows the turbines are outwith the 820ft boundary.

But STiC chairwoman Linda van Weereld believes the turbines are actually within the boundary, based on figures the group uncovered in a Sepa report.

Mrs van Weereld, whose house Craigiestep would be about 560 yards from one of the turbines proposed for Blackhills Farm, Cushnie, said: “The source is not reliable and my point is that if we can easily find out the co-ordinates of the well, why can’t they?

“If a lay person can do it, it seems quite incongruous that they cannot meet the requirement.

“It seems very convenient for their reporting that the wells fall outwith the boundaries.”

A Green Cat Renewables spokesmansaid:“There is a slight discrepancy in relation to the grid co-ordinates of one spring, but we have discussed this with Sepa and they agree that these concerns can be resolved through the provision of acceptable information.

“As frequently happens in the course of the detailed assessment undertaken, we have also found a possible extra spring on the site, not previously identified by Sepa.

“Our co-ordinates were taken using a hand-held GPS device and we are looking into the reasons for the discrepancy.”

Lord Stephen could not be contacted for comment last night.

Source:  By Shona Gossip | The Press and Journal | 24 July 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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