Decision expected on turbines proposals next week

PROPOSALS to build two wind turbines near a controversial windfarm in Aberdeenshire will go before councillors again next week.

Bulb farm G and A Webster wants to erect the 88ft masts on the south side of Cushnie Farm, near Rhynie.

THE turbines would be located close to the Cairnmore windfarm, which has three 265ft structures – prompting local residents to raise concerns about extra noise and the additional impact they would have on the landscape.

Council officials say the proposed turbines would be more than 2,000ft from the windfarm, however, which they consider to be an “acceptable distance”.

Members of the Marr area committee were asked to approve the plans last month, but put off making a decision so they could visit the site and see for themselves how much of an impact the development would have on the area.

In the report on the proposals, head of planning and buildings standards Stuart Murison assured councillors the turbines would not “skyline” the area.

He said: “The surrounding area is characterised by the undulating rural landscape with a small number of small farms dotted throughout the landscape.

“A visual impact assessment was submitted showing how the wind turbines would appear in the landscape from three local viewpoints, including the main road to the south and locations to the east and west of this.

“These demonstrate that the turbines would not have a significant impact upon the landscape. Given the undulating landscape and the steeply sloping land up and away from the turbine sites, it is not considered that they would ‘skyline’ or dominate the landscape from any direction. The Cairnmore turbines would continue to dominate the landscape and, while the smaller turbines would be visible at the same time, it is not considered that they would significantly add to the impact of these turbines in the area.”

At last month’s meeting, councillor Richard Stroud said two earlier applications for the same area had come with a warning from planners that the land was already at the “absolute limit of capacity” for wind turbine developments.

Residents set up campaign group Rhynie Against Cairnmore Extension (Race) earlier this year after an application was submitted to extend the Cairnmore site by adding five turbines.

The committee is expected to make a decision on the plans for Cushnie Farm at Alford on Tuesday.