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Community groups split over wind farm proposals in Aberchirder

Plans to extend a controversial wind farm near a north-east village have divided community opinion.

Green Cat Renewables wants to add two more turbines to their development on land at Deuchries, near Aberchirder.

Council bosses received 75 objections to the original three-tower proposal, with opponents arguing it would become an eyesore on the rural landscape.

But Aberchirder community council threw its weight behind the idea.

The planning application was approved in 2014 and the turbines became operational last year. They currently provide power for around 4,000 homes.

However, the new proposals to add two 390ft structures turbines to the overall scheme has split two community groups.

The Aberchirder and district community association supports the scheme, but the Alvah and Forglen community council is against it.

Both groups have submitted their contrasting views to the planning application on the council website.

In a letter to the local authority, Aberchirder and district community association secretary Bob Peden set out the reasons why his organisation backs the initiative.

He said the two additional turbines would be “less intrusive” and would not impact on the surrounding landscape.

Mr Peden said: “We support the application on the grounds that the visual impact will be less than it might seem.

“Given that the area around Deuchries is already full of turbines, the two proposed would be much less intrusive than if they were the only ones.”

However, the Alvah and Forglen community council believe the development would have a negative effect on the scenery.

The group’s chairman James Bayne said the area surround the proposed wind farm extension is already at “saturation point.”

He added: “The community council unanimously agree that the turbines would have an adverse effect on the landscape at Alvah and Forglen and the surrounding area.

“The community council concluded that the proposed turbines would add to an already congested skyline of wind turbines. The area has already reached saturation point.”

In addition to the turbines, there would be a pair of substations, a network of buried cables, drainage works and an upgrade for the existing farm track.

Green Cat Renewables said the expansion was “modest” and it would also boost a scheme used to support local groups in Aberchirder.

The village’s scout group used it to purchase a minibus last year.