Councillors yesterday approved plans to erect four new wind turbines in Moray.
The original Renewable Energy Ventures application featured eight 360ft turbines on the landmark hill, Mill Buie, but that number was reduced due to “environmental issues”.
The plans for the site on the Kellas Estate were greeted with a mixed public reaction as the turbines will be located immediately north and north-east of the existing Rothes wind farm – with a total of 40 turbines.
Some local residents said the turbines were unnecessary, while others gauged the economic benefits.
A report authored by Maurice Booth, Moray Council’s planning officer, stated: “The amended proposal – for four turbines – is no longer considered to result in unacceptable landscape and visual effects and would integrate more sensitively within the surrounding area.”
Councillor Margo Howe did raise concerns about the “cumulative visual impacts” of the new turbines and the existing Rothes wind farm, but the application was approved by councillors on the planning committee.
One local resident said: “I think they are really unnecessary, and I put in an objection. They are noisy, and the existing ones are a real eyesore. I thought I was hearing the river in my garden, but it was the turbines. It’s pulsating.”
Ed Gormanley, Kellas estate manager and head gamekeeper, said the turbines would be a great benefit to the local area.
He said: “We are really pleased permission has been granted for the application.
“It will create a community fund to help develop Kellas. It’s a piece of barren ground we get no benefit from, and there are already 40-odd wind mills there, so the visibility implication is very minimal.
“People in Kellas, Dallas, Rothes and the whole local area – everyone will benefit from it.”
Stuart Hardy, Kellas resident and wind turbine technician, said: “I am all for it. I subscribe to the fact that some care has to be taken to preserve the nice views in Scotland.
“There are areas where the turbines wouldn’t be suitable, but I would have no reservations in any going in next to an already operational site. It would be hard to argue against that. It will be quite a good thing for the area.”
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