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Five new wind turbines, standing nearly 500ft high, proposed for site south of Cullen

A wind farm with five turbines almost 500ft high is being proposed at Deskford.

Members of the planning and regulatory services committee will be able to give feedback on the proposal of application notice when it comes before them on September 28.

Planning permission had already been granted following an appeal in February 2019 for five turbines at the site on Lurg Hill, around five mile south of Cullen, but with a height up to 426ft.

The current notice put forward by applicant Alan Mathewson and submitted to Moray Council last month, includes turbines with tip height up to 488ft, slightly larger foundations than the previous plan and associated infrastructure.

Market changes and advances in technology has prompted the changes to the development.

The Lurg Hill site extends to 137 hectares and comprises managed woodland, heathland and tracks.

Although the area is judged to be unsuitable for such large turbines the principle for development has been set through the existing consent.

In his report, principal planning officer Richard Smith said: “Any further application would be required to demonstrate that the increased height of the turbines will not result in additional significant adverse landscape and visual impacts.

“To inform this consideration process this will need to include comparison visuals, zones of theoretical visibility and elevations of the proposed and approved development in order to easily compare the changes.”

The pre-planning notice gives elected members an opportunity to highlight issues and views that will go back to the developer before a formal application is submitted.

Any proposal will be assessed against the Moray Local Development Plan 2020, Moray Onshore Wind Energy Non-Statutory Guidance 2020 and Moray Wind Energy Landscape Capacity Study 2017, which favour renewable developments.

The wind farm would be judged as a major development and as generation capacity is expected to exceed 20 megawatts planning permission would be required.

Consultations will be held with Cullen and Deskford Community Council, Fordyce, Sandend and District Community Council, Strathisla Community Council and Deskford and District Community Council.

A virtual public event is expected to be held later this year.