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Ruling due on Auchenblae turbines  

Credit:  By Graeme Strachan | The Courier | 28 July 2014 | www.thecourier.co.uk ~~

Aberdeenshire councillors have been recommended to approve plans for two 79.6m wind turbines by Auchenblae.

Herscha Hill Renewables LLP lodged the application for the turbines at Herscha Hill in February last year.

It will go before Kincardine and Mearns councillors on Tuesday after being recommended for full planning permission.

The proposed turbines would be located on the summit of Herscha Hill and also comprises associated infrastructure, including a new section of access track.

Several scheduled ancient monuments and listed buildings are nearby, including Herscha Hill cairn, stone circle and carved ball 980ft away, Droop Hill just over a mile to the east and several scattered cairns.

The initial submission was a proposal to erect three turbines. However, this has subsequently been amended as a result of pipeline safeguarding issues and the proposal now relates to two turbines, with the most western turbine now removed from the application.

A report by Sheena McKenzie from Aberdeenshire Council stated: “This application is for the erection of two turbines 80m in height to tip, positioned on a hill overlooking the settlement of Auchenblae.

“Consultation responses have not raised any significant issues which would prevent planning permission being granted in this instance.

“Mearns Community Council object to the proposal raising concerns relating to cumulative impact and impact on the historic environment. The development is sited in an appropriate location, will not result in any significant additional adverse impacts upon the surrounding amenity and does not come into conflict with any of the statutory consultees.”

The plans caused a mixed reaction among locals, with 22 objections and 23 people in support.

Mearns Community Council objected due to the cumulative impact of the number of large-scale turbines throughout the Mearns and their effects on the landscape and historic character of the area.

A spokeswoman said: “This is a small, quiet, rural community in a landscape of great beauty, which is being significantly spoilt by an increasing number of large-scale turbines.

“Mearns Community Council is becoming more and more concerned by the overloading of the Mearns with windfarms and turbines.

“The cumulative effect in the Auchenblae area exemplifies what is happening throughout the Mearns, where the landscape is rapidly becoming an industrialised zone.”

Auchenblae resident Trevor Hodgson said: “As a resident of the village, I am deeply concerned over the apparently unrestricted development of wind turbine sites in the area of Kincardine and the Mearns, and specifically the recent number of applications around Auchenblae.

“The existing turbine on Herscha Hill already dominates views from several locations in the village and the quadrupling of this will clearly further affect views.”

Of the 23 letters of support, a number of residents stated that the turbines would not have a negative visual impact on the local area, would bring more jobs and support the rural economy.

Source:  By Graeme Strachan | The Courier | 28 July 2014 | www.thecourier.co.uk

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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