Four new applications as council reach turbine ‘saturation point’

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COUNCILLORS will today (Tuesday) consider four planning applications seeking consent for the erection of six wind turbines in the Buchan countryside.

The applications seek permission for one turbine at both Honeyneuk Farm, Maud and Yonderton Farm, Hatton, and two turbines each at Craigshowdie, Ardallie and Newseat, Inverugie.

Planning officials are recommending that three of the four applications be refused due to the increasing number of wind turbines across the Buchan area and impact on the Ministry of Defence radar system.

In all but one case they state: “The principle issue is the concentration of wind turbines in this part of Aberdeenshire.

“Each wind turbine is visible to radar systems and creates ‘clutter’ on the radar screens. Until this time it appears that the level of interference was manageable in terms of the safe operation of these systems but it now appears that further interference caused by additional turbines would have an unacceptable impact upon the safe operation of the air

defence radar systems.

“As a result the planning service is unable to support the proposed development.”

In the first of the applications to go before Buchan area committee councillors, Mr J. Muir of Honeyneuk Farm is seeking consent for the erection of a single wind turbine, standing a total of 27m in height.

One objection has been received against the application pertaining to cumulative impact, noise, impact on wildlife, visual impact and impact on tourism in the area.

The Ministry of Defence has also objected to the proposal on the grounds that it would conflict with the air defence radar at RAF Buchan.

The second application is from J&G Energy, per agent, and seeks full consent for a 38.5m turbine at Yonderton Farm near Hatton.

Members will hear that an application for the erection of two turbines was granted in July 2010. The two turbines approved have not been erected and the current application is for a single, larger turbine which the applicant considers will be more efficient in terms of the two smaller units.

Three objections have been received relating to impact on local landscape and concerns that rural Aberdeenshire is being turned into a single windfarm.

The Ministry of Defence is again objecting due to the interference on their radar system.

In the third application George Whitelock of Craigshowdie, Ardallie, is seeking full planning consent for two wind turbines with a total height of 27.1m.

One letter of objection has been received regarding cumulative impact of the turbines, noise, impact on wildlife and visual impact.

Again, the MOD has objected given the impact upon their radar.

The final application is for the erection of two turbines, each 27m high, for John Smith of Newseat, Inverugie.

Nine representations have been received by the council objecting to the proposal.

They raise a number of concerns including cumulative impact of wind turbines in the area, impact on birds and other wildlife, impact on health, and the fact that the turbines are close to the Formartine and Buchan Way.

However, planners say in this case the Defence Estates has no objection to the proposal. In terms of the impact of the wind turbines on communications or radar systems, it has been established from the consultation responses that the wind turbines would not give rise to electro-magnetic interference to communication installations (radar or air traffic control systems) of both civilian and defence radar systems.

to the site.

Members have been asked to grant planning consent to this application.