Councillor aiming for new turbines approval

A BUCHAN councillor hopes to be granted planning permission for two new wind turbines at a North-east farm by his colleagues later today (Tuesday).

Peter Chapman, who farms at Redbog near Strichen, has lodged plans for the pair of 800kW turbines each towering at just under 80m.

Aberdeenshire Council’s planning department is recommending approval of the development which has attracted no objections or adverse comments.

The proposal comprises the erection of two three-blade turbines measuring 55.6 metres to the hub and 79.5 metres from the base to blade tip.

In a report to go before’s today’s meeting of the Buchan Area Committee - at which Cllr Chapman is expected to indicate an interest and therefore play no part in the decision-making process - members will be reminded that within the surrounding area there are a number of other proposals which are either pending, consented but not yet built, and constructed turbines.

There are two at North Redbog, one apiece at Auchtygills Farm and West Cockmuir and one apiece pending at Clayfords Farm and Auchmore Farm.

The report states: “With regard to the policy implications, the visual impact of the proposed development is a significant issue to be considered and addressed.

“It is inevitable that the introduction of an additional two turbines of 80 metres in height will be visible from a number of key points. However, in this respect the impact on the landscape is deemed to be reasonable. The Environment Planner (Landscape) has assessed the proposal and concluded that the proposal will not have a significant adverse impact. It is pointed out that this proposal is distinct and separate from the existing North Redbog wind turbines as there is a distance of 750m between this and the existing wind turbines.

“The site lies within an area which is predominantly agricultural with regular small settlements, featuring a backdrop of infrastructure such as pylons and communications equipment which dominates the southern face of Mormond Hill. Under the circumstances, it is considered that the landscape has the capacity for this development.”

Neither the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) nor any of the major telecoms firms operating from Mormond Hill and surrounding area have objections.

Councillors will be recommended to delegate the granting of full planning permission to the planning department.