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Discussions to take place on council wind turbine sites  

Credit:  Banffshire Journal | 5 April 2013 | www.banffshire-journal.co.uk ~~

Sites have been identified by Aberdeenshire Council to build its own wind turbines but the local authority has refused to confirm whether any of these will be in the Banff area.

The council is about to start consulting with local community councils but due to planning policy it will not reveal the locations of any proposed turbine projects until discussions have taken place.

Last year, the local authority, which revealed plans to erect its own turbines, was accused of “dragging its feet” over investment in renewable energy.

Up to £144,000 of funding for the structures was earmarked by the council’s policy and resources committee in February last year.

An Aberdeenshire Council spokeswoman said: “The planning team are at the stage where it is going to start consulting with local community councils.

“Council policy states that the details of the plans will not be outlined before the discussions have been had with the community councils.”

“Since funding for wind turbines was granted, officers and specialist advisers have been working to evaluate appropriate sites which are available to meet locational, landscape, wind and other environmental criteria.

“A number of sites have been assessed and some have had to be rejected, largely due to objections on air safety grounds.”

With the whole planning process still to go through it may be some time before the turbines are erected.

Green councillor Martin Ford has proposed that some of the council’s multi-million underspend be used on renewables.

He said: “The council took the decision to seek to install wind turbines at a number of sites in February last year and committed funding.

“It is now April and we still have the whole planning process to go through.

“The longer the delay, the longer the council is missing out on the income it would receive from its own wind turbines.

“The council’s coalition administration appears to have taken its eye off the ball when it comes to an initiative that would help the council financially and help to meet climate change targets.”

Councillor Paul Johnston agreed with councillor Ford that some of the cash in the underspend should be used to pay for renewables.

He added: “At the policy and resources committee where the funding for wind turbines was decided, I sought approval for a larger programme of renewable energy installations.

“As it is, the administration is dragging its feet on what was agreed.”

Source:  Banffshire Journal | 5 April 2013 | www.banffshire-journal.co.uk

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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