Going public on giant turbines plan

PLANS for a controversial £200million windfarm off the coast of Aberdeen will come under public scrutiny later this month.

A series of consultation events are to be held on the proposed European Offshore Wind Development Centre.

If approved it would include 11 giant turbines measuring up to 640ft high, twice the height of Big Ben.

The structures would be positioned one-and-a-half miles from the coast between Balmedie and Bridge of Don.

Earlier this month an application was lodged with Scottish Government agency Marine Scotland by Vattenfall, Europe’s sixth-largest electricity generator, subsea engineering firm Technip, and Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group.

Detailed plans for the project will go on show at venues across the north-east for public to have their say.

Vattenfall UK country manager David Hodkinson said: “The public information events are an important part of the formal consultation and decision-making process and they follow on from our recent submission of a consent application to Marine Scotland.

“We believe we have made a strong case for the environmental and economic benefits of the centre. I would like to encourage people to make their own judgment after viewing the information that we will present at the events and speaking to members of the project team.”

The application has met strong opposition from the Trump Organisation. Billionaire Donald Trump has criticised the proposed location because of its proximity to his £750million golf development at the Menie Estate.

Last week, senior members of his team vowed to fight the plans using “any available legal means”.

Consultation events will be held at the Palace Hotel, Peterhead, on August 29; Udny Arms, Newburgh, August 30; and the Kirk Centre, Ellon, on August 31. Events will also be held at the Whitehorse Inn, Balmedie, on September 1 and the Doubletree Hilton, Beach Boulevard, Aberdeen, on September 2.

The plans will be open to view from 2pm to 8pm at each location, with the formal consultation process due to end on September 16.

Any representations to the application should be made to the Scottish Government’s Marine Scotland licensing operations team by this date.