December 3, 2013

Councillors slam decision to ‘ruin’ the Banff skyline

Published: 03/12/2013

Two local councillors have condemned last week’s decision to grant planning permission for an 80-metre wind turbine which they insist will “ruin the Banff skyline”.

Troup ward councillor Mark Findlater, an independent, voted against the award of planning permission for the turbine, which will be built on a hilltop site at South Colleonard farm, just over a mile south-west of the town centre.

“Anybody who loves the view over Banff from Macduff had better make the most of it as it is now because when this turbine goes up it will loom over the skyline like something from the ‘War of the Worlds’ film,” said Councillor Findlater.

Planning permission was granted to Green Cat Renewables, acting on behalf of land owner George Wilson, for the 260ft structure at last week’s Aberdeenshire Council Banff and Buchan area committee.

Planners received 19 letters of objection to the South Colleonard project application.

“The clear recommendation to the area committee from planning officials was that the application should be refused,” said Councillor Findlater.

“That recommendation was made to councillors on the basis that the structure would add to the cumulative impact of other turbines in the area and that it would be detrimental to the character and landscape of the area.

“And it also took into consideration the fact that a turbine at Hill of Cowie, another 80-metre structure, for which planning permission has already been granted.”

Planning permission for the South Colleonard project was granted by the 10 members of the Banff and Buchan area committee on a 6-3 vote with one abstention.

Councillors Findlater, Banff Conservative Michael Roy and Charles Buchan voted against the motion to grant planning permission.

“The erection of a wind turbine at South Colleonard will completely dominate the coastal plain west of Banff on a coastline which has been designated as one of the top-20 in the world,” said Councillor Roy.

“That is an accolade which the Banffshire Coast Tourism Partnership intends to exploit to boost the tourism industry locally.

“This turbine will sit a mile from Banff and it has the potential to restrict the expansion of the town to the west.

“These considerations will make regeneration of the town all the more difficult.”

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