The company behind the next phase of a major north-east windfarm have said their proposals have been given an “overwhelmingly positive response.”
Plans to expand the Moray East Offshore Windfarm westward were unveiled in 2016, which would involve building 90 turbines.
Yesterday, the public got the chance to have their say.
During the consultation at the Station Hotel in Portsoy, locals could view the blueprints for the development and the on-shore infrastructure, which is proposed to be funneled through the Blackhillock substation near Keith.
It also set out potential locations for the installation of submarine cables off the coast.
Some people have branded the possibility of the wires coming ashore at the village of a Sandend a “disgrace”.
But one of those behind the development insists people living nearby do support it.
Craig Milroy, communications manager at Moray Offshore Windfarms, said their proposals had been well-received.
He said: “The response has been overwhelmingly positive.
“It has certainly generated a lot of interest in what we are doing in the west.
“We could be looking at it generating enough power for somewhere north of 900,000 homes.”
The developer says Buckie Harbour would benefit from the scheme, with jobs created during the construction and maintenance of the turbines.
However, not everyone was so keen to give it their backing with one opponent raising concerns about the impact on the environment.
Stewart Ingram, from Sandend, said: “I think it is a disgrace it is coming in to Sandend.
“It is a huge tidal beach and they say the cable will never be exposed, but I have got my doubts.
“It is such an important beach and is the best in the north-east of Scotland.
“There are plenty of other places that could be that don’t have houses and that are not a tourist attraction.”
Jane Winfield, also from Sandend, also raised concerns.
She said: “Why bring it ashore in Sandend?
“It has one of the best beaches in Aberdeenshire and it is used for surfing. The kids use it for surf lessons.
“They are going to come ashore and you have got the dunes that are protecting the village.
“Tourism is a major thing now and this beach is used by people all the time.”
Mr Milroy said the views of those who attended the consultation will be considered as they finalise their proposals.
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