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Developer appeals over blocked windfarm bid

A contentious central Buchan windfarm plan, which was blocked by councillors earlier this year, could be resurrected.

Developers have mounted an appeal against Aberdeenshire Council’s decision to reject a three-turbine scheme earmarked for land near Maud.

Landowner William Hutcheon wants to instal a trio of 90ft masts beside his home at Upper Aucheoch, north of the village.

Supporters of the plan said the site was the ideal location for a green energy project, but opponents said the towers could have a negative impact on the surrounding landscape.

Unlike similar schemes in the area, it did not receive an objection from the Ministry of Defence regarding potential interference to radars at RAF Buchan. It was also backed by council planners.

However, members of t he l ocal authority’s Buchan area committee threw out the scheme at their meeting in May.

They wanted to give Mr Hutcheon the chance to resubmit revised plans, moving the turbines farther north.

At the meeting, Mr Hutcheon told councillors he was not keen on the prospect of drawing up fresh plans.

“There is not enough time to do it,” he said. “Timescales are very tight.”

New plans would also have to be freshly scrutinised by various consultees, including the MoD.

Now Mr Hutcheon has tabled an appeal with the Scottish Government’s Department for Planning and Environmental Appeals.

A reporter will be appointed to assess the case and the findings should be published in October.

Mr Hutcheon could not be reached for comment last night. In a letter to the local authority, a spokesman for agent Enviko supported the scheme.

He said: “In this case, the local farming business would own and manage the wind turbines and therefore profit generated would be fully absorbed by the local business, thereby creating an additional stable in come stream and supporting existing and potential new employment on the farm.”