Moray councillors yesterday triggered a public local inquiry by objecting to plans for a windfarm extension.
Renewable Energy Systems (RES) had tabled proposals to add 16 turbines – measuring up to 400ft – to an existing 21 mast development at Hill of Towie, near Drummuir.
Because of the scale of the extension, Scottish ministers will have the final say on the proposals.
Yesterday’s planning and regulatory services committee gathered to discuss a response to a Scottish Government consultation.
A debate on whether or not to object resulted in a 55 tied vote.
But planning committee chairman Douglas Ross used his casting vote to object to the plans – paving the way for a public local inquiry.
Later in the meeting, Moray councillors unanimously agreed to object to another RES project to build a 20-turbines windfarm on a remote moor.
The Cairn Duhie windfarm, tabled by energy firm RES, would involve 300ft masts being built on the Glenferness Estate, east of the A939 Glenferness to Dava road.
The land is within the Highland Council boundary, but sits close to the Moray border, meaning that both authorities are being consulted by the Scottish Government.
Councillors endorsed a suggested response written by principal planning officer Angus Burnie.
Mr Burnie said the proposed wind farm was “inappropriately sited and would have a significant adverse landscape and visual effect upon the Moray landscape”.
The report said that the development, which is close to the landmark hill, Knock of Braemoray, would impact upon “a key scenic approach to Moray”.
Because Moray Council is not the planning authority, its response will not automatically trigger a public inquiry, but the authority may have to participate if one is held.
RES regional communications manager Rachel Anderson, who was in council chambers to listen to yesterday’s debates, said the firm was “extremely disappointed” by the decisions.
She said the Hill of Towie project would generate £10million for the local economy. She added: “A costly public inquiry has now been triggered by the council.”
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding