Open meeting on windfarms

mearns Community Council are to hold an open meeting in the Blue Room of Mearns Community Centre on Friday, November 25 at 7pm.

The community council have called the meeting to attempt to try to evaluate public opinion in light of the record number of windfarm applications, both individual and multiple, which have been put forward for the area.

Community council chairman David Nelson said they will in particular look at the whole of the Garvock Hill, now that Eneco has lodged an application for the extension of the Tullo scheme.

Phase one of the Tullo scheme consisted of six turbines which have already been built and their application for an extension is for four further turbines.

In the same location, on top of the Garvock, applications have been lodged for five turbines at Easter Tulloch and three at The Shiells.

Mr Nelson said: “Potentially we could be looking at 19 turbines all in close proximity and they will all be the big ones, 100m to blade tip.

“Next Friday’s meeting is an attempt to guage public opinion. It is the only opportunity open to us given the timescale for lodging objections.

“Individuals can make comments on the applications on-line by going to the Aberdeenshire Council website and I strongly recommend that they do so.

“I hope people attend the meeting to help the community council decide what to do.

“By way of balance I will tell the meeting just what the community can expect in the form of community benefit from the applicants.”

Mr Nelson was previously told by planning officials that the Garvock applications would be considered together and their cumulative effect would be taken into account.

Community benefit does not play a part in the planning process and councillors will not take any promises or financial inducements into account when deciding the applications.

There have also been a number of applications lodged for turbines on the floor of the Howe of the Mearns. Previously the community council objected to these on the grounds of their visual impact and Friday’s meeting will also decide whether that remains their policy.

The community council also previously took the view that they would not object to turbines if they were an aid to the running of a business or a farm.