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Villagers fight substation bid

Almost a whole village in Aberdeenshire has banded together to oppose plans for an electricity substation linked to a £230million offshore windfarm.

Blackdog residents are objecting to the proposals amid concerns about heavy traffic, loss of amenities, noise disturbance and access to the beach.

The most common concern highlighted in the 67 letters, however, was that the village was being used as a “dumping ground”.

The team behind the proposed European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre – an 11-turbine windfarm in Aberdeen Bay – say the substation is essential for the project, as it would help supply electricity to homes and offices.

But about 78% of the village’s 85 households have objected to the proposals, echoing many of the concerns raised at apublicconsultation last month.

Several individual letters have been lodged, as well as a skeleton submission used by 41 people.

The document cites health and safety, traffic, the condition of village roadsandnoise as themain reasons for objection.

It adds: “Unfortunately not all residents are familiar with the history of Blackdog, but for 40 years Blackdog village has been the dumping ground for a huge amount of landfill sites.

“We have had to endure all the noise, dust, pollution, vermin and stench which no other community has had to endure for so long.

“Blackdog wants no more projects in our backyard. We have had enough.”

Another suggests the central reservation for traffic entering Blackdog via the A90 Aberdeen-Peterhead road is too small for lorries and that the road surface in Hareburn Terrace could not support more traffic.

Others raise concerns about the disruption caused by works to build the substation.

EOWDC project spokesman Iain Todd said the team were aware of the concerns, and pledged to continue working with residents to alleviate those fears.

He added: “Traffic management plans, in agreement with Aberdeenshire Council and all other relevant authorities, would be implemented throughout the proposed construction states.

“We would liaise with local residents, businesses and organisations in order to limit any potential disruption to the area.”

Aberdeenshire Council will make a decision on the substation in the coming months, while the windfarm in Aberdeen Bay is still under consideration by the Scottish Government.