Controversial proposals to build two 260ft wind turbines near a series of historic monuments have been thrown out by councillors.
Members of the Formartine area committee rejected the plan to construct the turbines at Hassiewells near Rothienorman when they met yesterday.
The scheme was tabled by Muirden Energy on behalf of Hassiewells Renewables and was a fresh attempt to build wind turbines on the site following a previously unsuccessful application.
Aberdeenshire Council planners had urged councillors to block the new scheme, due to the impact on nearby ancient sites including a Roman camp.
The planning team also raised concerns about the noise generated by two turbines. In total, 30 letters of objection were received by the council with a further 20 in support of the turbines.
But, despite the planners recommendation and a lengthy debate between local members, the committee was evenly split on whether or not to grant planning permission.
Local councillor Anne Robertson said: “The noise mitigation has been considered by environmental services and they maintain their objection.
“I think, given the siting of the turbines, we would need – on balance – to support the officers’ recommendation.”
However, fellow Turriff and District member, Sandy Duncan said: “I don’t understand the noise issues when there are similar turbines in the area and we don’t hear complaints.
“I also don’t think the archaeological sites are impacted by the turbines.”
Eventually, chairman Rob Merson was forced to step in and use his deciding vote to block the project.
He added: “I share the concerns that have been raised. This isn’t an ideal site.”
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