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Government blocks Cairnandrew turbines but finds council acted “unreasonably”

The Scottish Government has blocked the creation of three massive wind turbines in a north-east hamlet.

Farming firm Inicio-Fresco Ltd wanted to erect the structures on land east of Cairnandrew near King Edward, but faced fierce opposition from locals.

A total of 78 objections were lodged with the council, and the local authority’s own planning team urged councillors to reject the proposals.

And the Banff and Buchan area committee threw out the turbines in June.

A Scottish Government reporter has now backed the local authority, but has flagged up errors in the report that was shared to councillors before they made their decision.

The report from the planning service gave inaccurate information about the location and numbers of approved turbines in the area.

But reporter Christopher Warren has said it was unlikely this would have changed the outcome.

“It was certainly unfortunate that the council’s committee report contained substantial factual errors regarding other pending and approved wind turbines,” he added.

“On the basis that these errors would have been capable of significantly influencing the decision-making process, the council did behave unreasonably in this regard. I am satisfied however that the council would have refused planning permission in any event.”

Mr Warren also backed councillors in agreeing that the project would have an adverse visual impact to the area.

The agent acting for the farming firm, 1 Stop Renewables, had claimed the project would boost the local jobs market if approved.

In its design statement submitted along with the planning application, it said: “The project would enable the farm business to be more environmentally-conscious and to do its part to safeguard the natural environment and help mitigate climate change.

“The income generated will also be reinvested in further agricultural and environmental work, which will create further employment opportunities.”