A group of campaigners have taken their fight to Aberdeenshire Council’s headquarters, calling for a clearly defined minimum distance between a wind turbine development and the nearest home.
The delegation last Thursday presented council leader, Councillor Jim Gifford, with their Petition Against Close Turbines (PACT), with 1,740 signatures gathered in towns and villages in the Banffshire area.
The group say they are not against wind turbines, but rather against positioning the developments in unsuitable locations.
The petition calls on the authority to set a minimum distance of 20 times the turbine height as the minimum distance between a wind turbine and the nearest home.
Campaigners say this will provide a proportionate degree of protection to the landscape and safeguard the health and wellbeing of Aberdeenshire’s residents.
Group spokesman Paul Scrivin said: “We are against the inappropriate siting of wind turbines, as the council’s planning guidance of a minimum distance of 400 metres from the nearest dwelling is not enough.
“They are built far too close to domestic properties, and there has been such a proliferation of them in Banff and the surrounding area over the years.
“We are, however, not anti-turbine – wind energy is an element of the renewable energy programme.
“We couldn’t cover the entire Banff and Buchan area, so we decided to focus on one ward – Banff and District – and some 2,000 people were approached.
“The majority of the 1,740 who signed the petition either live in Banff and District or are regular visitors, mainly from neighbouring wards.”
“We took in Sandend, Fordyce, Portsoy, Whitehills and Aberchirder.
“The response was overwhelming. We were expecting maybe 200 signatures, but it turned out to be so much more, and shows that people in the area really feel strongly about it.
“We could have carried on to further areas, but the planning policy is to be reviewed shortly and we would not have had the time.
“Mr Gifford was accommodating and helpful when we handed over the petition.”
For more on this story see this week’s Banffshire Journal, on sale now.
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