Auchenten windfarm plans could come back to the table

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Developers of one of Buchan’s most contentious windfarm applications are challenging a decision made by local councillors earlier this year.

The application, which comprised three 276ft turbines on land at Auchenten, south of Peterhead, received more than 170 letters of objection when it was first unveiled.

The main cause for concern was the location of the three turbines, and they were classed as a danger to pilots taking off and landing the nearby airstrip at Hatton.

Planning chiefs said the developer behind the scheme failed to show how the proposal would not have a “detrimental impact” on the private runway owned by pilot Jim Anderson.

Councillors refused the plans at their area committee meeting in October this year, saying that they were simply “too close to the airstrip and risking the safety of users”.

The application was originally looked at in August, but councillors agreed to attend a site visit to look at the impacts the turbines would have on the airstrip.

Dr Gordon Masson, of Sutton Scotney, Hampshire, was behind the plan and had been working with clean energy specialist Green Cat Renewables in the hope to have the plans accepted.

Dr Masson and the Biggar-based company have now appealed to the Scottish Government to try to over-rule the decision.

It had earlier been suggested that Dr Masson would be willing to pay for the airstrip to be rerouted so that the planes flew away from the turbines, however Mr Anderson has rejected this offer.

Mr Anderson, of Ardiffery, near Hatton, said: “My main concern is for the safety of the visiting pilots to the airstrip. If the turbines had been on the North side of the A90 I would have had no problem, but they are simply too close to the airstrip.

“Councillors who attended the site visit back in October saw the dangers to the aicrafts using the airstrip and they voted accordingly at the time.”