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Wind company withdraws plans

Plans for a controversial wind farm near Elgin have been withdrawn before going in front of ministers.

The vento ludens Ltd’s proposals for the 19 turbine development at Brown Muir, will now be revised to reduce the size of the project after more than 2,000 objections were received.

However those who raised concerns are waiting to scrutinise the new proposals.

Sandy Anderson, chairman of Innes Community Council, who submitted an objection to the original plan, said: “You’re just not sure where it will end.

“They might put in a small wind farm and then add to it. It’s hard to say where something like that could end.

“I know there are some people who will not find any development at Brown Muir acceptable, but they object to most wind farms.

“We will just have to wait and see what the company comes back with.”

The company responsible said it withdrew the application – that was to go before the Scottish Government – following discussions with statutory stakeholders and in light of views from the community.

They will now reduce the proposal so the output from the wind farm falls below the 50 MW threshold, which means the plans will be considered by Moray Council rather than ministers.

Dr Jay Butler, managing director of vento ludens, said she remains committed to Brown Muir as a location for a wind farm.

“We look forward to continuing to work alongside the local community in line with our comprehensive approach to consultation,” she added.

“We have received a lot of feedback, mostly constructive, from all stakeholders during this process so far.

“We are pleased to say there has been positive recognition that, environmentally, the development will have minimal impact but we feel we can do more.”

Fochabers Lhanbryde councillor Douglas Ross, who chairs the council’s planning and regulatory services committee, welcomed the company’s decision.

He said: “Given the previous size of the application the council was only a consultee, but on two occasions the planning committee unanimously agreed to object to this application so naturally we are pleased this project will go no further.

“By objecting to the original application, the committee did so in the knowledge that it would prompt a public inquiry, which the council would have to devote significant resources to defend our case.

“We are therefore extremely pleased that this burden on council funds will no longer be required.”