Aberdeenshire Council has halted its legal action against a “noisy neighbour” windfarm.
Local authority chiefs issued an Asbo-style enforcement notice against the triple turbine development near Mintlaw after a series of complaints from nearby residents.
Locals living near the development claimed that a regular thumping noise was driving them to distraction.
Stuartfield Wind Power, which runs the renewables project at West Knock, took the council to court in an effort to overturn the order.
Following the latest civil hearing at Peterhead Sheriff Court this week, the council’s solicitor Jennifer McKearney said the local authority had agreed to freeze the order after developers said they had taken mitigatory measures to silence the turbines.
It is understood the situation will continue to be monitored and Stuartfield Wind Power, which was set up by landowner and former councillor Albert Howie, could face further action if there are any more problems.
Last night, Stuartfield resident Geordie Burnett Stuart said the noise had been an issue for at least 10 houses around the site.
“I think Aberdeenshire Council should never have allowed turbines to be build this close to peoples’ properties,” he said. “I’ve been woken in the night a few times with this whooshing noise. This application would never be passed today.”
The firm was told that if it failed to comply the terms of the enforcement notice it could be fined up to £5,000 – plus an extra £500 penalty for every day the offence continues.
It is believed to be one of the first times such a notice has been served on the owners of a windfarm in Scotland.
Last year, it emerged that the West Knock farm was one of 10 wind turbine developments being investigated by environmental body Climate-Xchange as part of a nationwide study for the Scottish Government.
Residents living close to each windfarm have been asked for their views, specifically about how the turbines have changed their lives. The findings are due to be published in the autumn and will be used to inform the Scottish Government and local authorities about future planning applications in an effort to minimise any negative effects on residents.
The West Knock windfarm was approved by members of the local authority’s Buchan area committee in February 2010.
The scheme, which developers claim will generate enough electricity to power up to 4,000 homes, attracted four objections from nearby residents.
No one from Stuartfield Wind Power could be reached for comment yesterday.
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