Kempstone Turbines discussed

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PLANS for the development of three wind turbines on Kempstone hill near Stonehaven were presented to Stonehaven and District Community Council at their meeting this week.

The land owner of Kempstone Hill, Mr George Jack and his agent Mr Gavin Catto from Green Cat Renewables Ltd attended the meeting on Tuesday night to answer Community Councillors questions about the plans.

Mr George Jack, who lives in Fraserburugh, explained that the land at Kempstone Hill had been owned by his family since the 40’s. He described the land as undeveloped and explained he had been exploring options to make use of the land. He said that the most effective use of the land would be as a source for wind energy and therefore Kempstone Hill Wind Energy Ltd was proposing the development of three wind turbines on the hill which is 4km north of Stonehaven.

The proposal, which will be submitted as a planning application to Aberdeenshire Council in the coming months, is for three wind turbines of a height to blade tip of 79 metres, these wind turbines will feed into the National grid.

Community Councillors raised concerns about development on the hill as there are sites of archeological interest including standing stones. Mr Jack explained that he had been working with Aberdeenshire Council archeologists to ensure that the proposed site would not have any effect on any sites of note on the hill.

There was also concerns about the visual impact of three turbines sitting above the town. Community Councillor Peter Greig was concerned about the size of the turbines. He said: “When I look at a drawing of a turbine I go- that looks alright, but when you put it into context you realise how big they are. The hub height is 55 metres that is the height of 14 double decker buses.”

He also expressed his worry over the information available on wind turbines. He said: “My worry is that the public, the general public do not know enough about wind turbines, they do not have enough information about them to make a decision and say yes, we want them.”

The Community Council also discussed the community benefit fund proposed by Mr Jack. The fund would give an annual community payment of £10,000 to Stonehaven.

A public information day to outline plans for the proposed wind cluster development will take place on Wednesday April 18 from 2 - 7:30pm in Stonehaven leisure centre.