Over 50 residents local to Hill of Corskie/Gartly Moor haveformed an action group Stop Hill Of Corskie Turbines (SHOCT) determined to stopdevelopers gaining planning permission to erect 10 large turbines on Gartly Moor.
Thegroup held its first meeting in the Tin Hut, Gartly and set out its campaign objectiveand strategy.
Local residents were alerted to the plans on 26 September when they were invited to a meeting arranged by Oosterhoff and Co, a farming business based at Fraserburgh, to hearabout their plans to build the 10 turbine wind farm.
The company previously applied to build 4, 100 metre tall turbines on top of the 400 metre high Hill of Corskie. This application was rejected by Aberdeenshire planners, by the Marr Area Committee and on appeal to the Scottish Government.
The reasons for the rejection ofthe earlier application was the unacceptable visual intrusion into the landscape.
The latest application will be to build 10 turbines 77 metres (250 feet) high on top of the Hill surrounding the existing transmitter mast, which is approximately 50 metres high. The development would overlook Gartly and be in close proximity to many properties.
The Oosterhoffs, who are in partnership with their agent Green Cat Renewables, are offering the community a pay out of £40,000 a year and the opportunity to buy into 10% of the project. The developer seemed surprised that residents were more concerned about the landscape and environmental impact of the development than with the money on offer andseemed unable or unwilling to answer many of the concerns expressed by the residents.
Group spokesman Andrew Kings who lives close to Hill Of Corskie at Backburn said, “It beggars belief that having been told so emphatically that 4 turbines are unacceptable the same developers are back to try to get approval for 10 in the same location. The apparent generosity of the community benefit offer (which was not made with the last application) possibly shows that they anticipate strong local opposition. However, any offer of community benefit, however structured, is not a material planning consideration and shouldn’t distract local residents and their representatives from the fact that this development would have a dreadful and totally unacceptable impact on the local environment.”
Mr Kings continued, “The turbines would be the same size as those at Dummuies but much more prominently sited and will be visible from wherever the existing mast can be seen and alot further beyond. We understand that they have approached both Tap O’ Noth Community Council and Huntly Development Trust to seek to enlist them in what they are calling their ‘partnership’. We arealso asking these two organisations to meet us to hear our concerns and to be aware that local residents do not want Strathbogie’s landscape sold out.”-
Anyone wanting more information or wishing to join SHOCT can find details at www.shoct.info or by contacting Andrew Kings on 07967 737670.
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