Council set to object to windfarm plans

Aberdeenshire Council is poised to oppose to a major new windfarm on the edge of the Cairngorms National Park.

Tuesday, 12th March 2019, 2:54 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th March 2019, 2:57 pm
The developers are seeking approval for 26 wind turbines

Its infrastructure services committee will meet this Thursday to determine whether to lodge a formal objection with the Scottish Government.

Coriolis Energy is behind the application to the Scottish Government for the 104 mega-watt network of turbines on the Fasque and Glendye Estates, north of Edzell.

Both the Marr and Kincardine and Mearns area committees have already recommended that a formal objection be made to plans for the proposed 26-turbine windfarm.

Councillors were in full agreement with a council report which considered that the “significant environmental effects” in terms of landscape and visual amenity, were sufficient to outweigh the benefits of the scheme to contribute towards meeting Scotland’s renewable energy production.

Demonstrating that the windfarm would be contrary to a number of Local Development Plan policies, the report stated: “The proposal cannot be supported and as such it is recommended that Aberdeenshire raise an objection regarding the application to the Scottish Government.”

During discussion at the Marr committee meeting, Councillor Peter Argyle said the application had “ignored the very clear terms of the Local Development Plan”.

Under the scheme,  which was first unveiled back in 2016, 26 three-bladed turbines would be installed across 1,500 hectares – each with a maximum height of 149.9m to blade tip – and having an electrical capacity of around 4MW. That would generate an anticipated 104MW across the development which could have a 30-year lifespan.

However, the development is facing a raft of objections including those from the Ministry of Defence, SEPA, RSPB, Scottish Natural Heritage and The John Muir Trust who have all raised concerns along with three local community councils.

In a report, councillors are being recommended to object on several grounds including that the proposed development would have a significant impact on a protected area which has a “sensitive landscape, high visual prominence, high wilderness and recreational value”.

Officers will also advise that the applicants have not demonstrated that the proposals would not have a “detrimental impact upon aircraft and aviation”.