Millhill wind turbine is shown the green light

Buchan Area Committee have given the go ahead for two aditional turbines at Mill Hill farm near Mintlaw.
Buchan Area Committee have given the go ahead for two aditional turbines at Mill Hill farm near Mintlaw.

Proposals to build two additional wind turbines at a farm near Longside have been approved by Aberdeenshire Council.

The decision allows Alex Fowlie of Millhill to build two 54.5m turbines on the site adjacent to an existing 80m structure.

Construction can begin as soon as the Ministry of Defence (MoD) signs off on alterations made to the plan and it is understood approval will be given within six months.

The MoD Defence Estates raised an objection because the turbines would cause ‘unacceptable interference to the Air Defence radar at RAF Buchan.’

However it has been made clear to the Planning Sevice that adjustments to the development can be made which would remove the objection.

Mr Fowlie was awaiting approval from the Area Committee before taking his negotiations with the MoD any further as the next step is a £40,000 assessment.

There have been two other sites where the MoD have removed their objection on these grounds - at Mains of Kinmuck and at Mormond Hill.

Mr Fowlie, acting as and agent for his own proposal, submitted the plans to Aberdeenshire Council.

Buchan Area Committee green lit the development during a meeting at Arbuthnott House on Tuesday, January 14.

Their decision was in line with the recommendation made by the Director of Infrastructure Services for Aberdeenshire Council, Stephen Archer.

Giving reasons for the recommendation, report author Victoria Moore wrote: “The development is sited in an appropriate location, will not result in any adverse impacts upon the surrounding amenity and provided the radar mitigation is satisfactory does not come into conflict with any of the statutory consultees.”

The decision will directly affect future wind turbine proposals in the surrounding area.

Although exisiting applications will be unaffected, future proposals within a 5km radius of Millhill will not be accepted by Aberdeenshire Council.

In total 67 objections to Mr Fowlie’s application were raised, although many of these have been mitigated with alterations to the proposal.

Concerns were raised about the visual impact of the structure on the ladscape, the noise of the turbines, potential shadow flicker, interference with TV, wifi and mobile phone reception as well as natural and cultural heritage impacts.

The applicant will assess the noise levels of the turbines and make an effort to keep this at an acceptable level.

Mr Fowlie will also have to turn off the turbines in weather which could cause shadow flicker.

The author of the report noted that the economic growth and renewable energy contribution of the turbines was worthwhile.