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Glendye Windfarm application ‘ignores’ key local recommendations, say opponents

Opponents of a proposed north-east windfarm claim it ignores local guidelines on large-scale energy developments.

The Banchory-based Glendye Windfarm Opposition Group, which has 40 members, said the Glendye onshore wind development “ignores” key recommendations from the council’s local development plan.

Last week, developers Coriolis Energy and Irish utility ESB submitted a planning application to the Scottish Government for a 26 turbine project, with Aberdeenshire Council a “statutory consultee” in the process.

Sam Wylde, community councillor and spokeswoman for the Glendye Windfarm Opposition Group, said: “I think it’s really disrespectful that a developer should put in an application for a windfarm when the local development plan says there isn’t enough capacity in the area.

“They need to build tracks to get the turbines to the site, which will mean more than 22 miles of track through a peat bog.”

Ms Wylde added she was concerned the finished site would resemble the nearby Mid Hill Windfarm site, which she described as “a mess”.

The Aberdeenshire Local Development Plan (LDP) is used to limit the effect of industry on the local area.

The report claims that windfarms are likely to have an “adverse effect” on tourism or local walking routes “should be avoided”.

It goes on to say “there is no real opportunity for wind turbines within Marr” and that in areas where a windfarm could be accommodated “there is only room for a small number of small turbines”.

A spokesman for Aberdeenshire Council said: “Where planning officers assess that an application does not comply with the LDP that becomes a material consideration in the determination of that application.

“The current LDP follows nearly five years of work, involving extensive consultation with stakeholders, communities and the development industry and any departure from this planning blueprint would have to be well justified for an application to gain permission.”

Responding to the claims, James Baird, development manager for Coriolis, said his firm has “liased” with the Community Liaison Group (CLG) and that it had “played an important role” in shaping the application.

A spokesman for the Scottish Government added: “The application for Glendye Wind Farm was submitted to the Scottish Ministers by Coriolis on 2 October 2018, and a wide ranging public consultation is now underway.

“It is for the planning authority to consider the proposal against its local development plan, and respond to Scottish Ministers’ consultation on the application.”