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Dismay as farmers take action over wind turbine plans

Campaigners have voiced their dismay at a group of farmers who have taken their plans to build four turbines near a historic landmark to the Scottish Government.

The joint bid from four farmers for land close to the C-listed Prop of Ythsie monument, near Tarves, was turned down by councillors earlier this year but they have since launched an appeal.

The farmers are being represented by agents from Green Cat Renewables, who have argued the 282ft masts would not have a significant impact onthe area. They have also asked for the project to be allowed to go ahead on the condition that no work will begin until an outstanding objection from the Ministry of Defence – which has concerns about the impact the development might have on radars at RAF Buchan – is resolved.

But last night objector Mike Brown, of Ythsie Park, said other issues had to be considered.

Nearly 350 people obj ected to the scheme planned for land at Dougl ashead, Milton of Ardlethen, Knockothie at Upper Ardlethen and Little Ythsie farms, and in a report planning chiefs outlined concerns with the impact on both the landscape and various listed properties in the area – prompting councillors to reject it.

Mr Brown, who is a member of the Ythan Area Community Group which fought the plans, criticised Green Cat Renewables’ claim that the turbines would not have a major impact on the area.

“Based on figures from last year, 250,000 visitors come to the attractions within the local vicinity such as Pitmedden Gardens, Haddo House and Tolquhon Castle,” he said.

“The council has also just spent money repairing and improving access to the Prop, which is a viewing platform for the area, so of course these turbines would have an impact.”

The father-of-one added: “During the committee meeting, the chairman said it would be like driving through a windfarm, not past it, and the councillors unanimously rejected it.

“We knew they would appeal, but we are disappointed they have.”

Last night a spokeswoman for the green energy firm said they had addressed the two reasons cited on the refusal.

She said: “The Prop of Ythsie was specifically cited, with no mention of the other tourist and historic sites nearby such as Haddo and Pitmedden.

“Frustratingly, the RAF Buchan radar issue was not raised.”