Turbine could provide power for new homes

PLANS to put a wind turbine in an area of Aberdeenshire where more than 100 schemes are either in the system or already built will be discussed by councillors tomorrow.

Farmer Harry Sleigh wants to build a 218ft structure at Cromlet Farm, St Katherines, near Fyvie.

A report on the plans, which have been submitted on Mr Sleigh’s behalf by Oldmeldrum-based firm Green Cat Renewables, suggests the turbine could provide electricity to 50 homes if St Katherines was to be extended.

Planning officer Victoria Moore states in her report: “The applicants propose to link the electricity provided by this turbine to a new development of 50 houses which they wish to be included in the new Aberdeenshire local development plan.

“Members should note that there is no planning application for this residential development and there is no allocation for this in the adopted Aberdeenshire local plan. The site is however a preferred option for the expansion of the village and is an identified site in the proposed Aberdeenshire local development plan.

“As the applicant currently has control over the land it may be possible to link the development of the wind turbine with those houses in a legal agreement should this application be considered acceptable.”

A total of 11 letters of support have been submitted in response to the application, with Fyvie, Rothienorman and Monquhitter Community Council backing the scheme so long as the energy created is linked with the proposed housing development.

Eight letters of objection have also been sent in, with concerns including the effect the turbine would have on the landscape, tourism and wildlife as well as the noise impact.

Although it has not made a formal objection, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds raised concerns after it emerged there are already 112 turbines either in the planning system or operational within a six-mile radius of the latest proposed structure.

In her report Ms Moore adds: “Within a 10km (6.2miles) radius of this site there are currently 112 schemes that are either at or through the planning process. In this case the majority of these schemes have already been erected.

“The planning service consider that in this case – due to the number of turbines in the immediate area – that members should carry out a site visit prior to a full discussion of this application.”

Members of the Formartine area committee will decide if they want to visit the site when they meet in Ellon tomorrow.