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Decision on Moray windfarm plans due by end

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Councillors are to make a decision on plans for a 13-turbine windfarm in Moray by the end of the year.

Swedish firm Vattenfall wants to fit the structures at the Forestry Commission’s Aultmore Forest, between Keith and Buckie.

The application has been with Moray Council since October 2007, but the company is hopeful it will be dealt with in the autumn.

Vattenfall has already won consent for an 18-turbine development at Clashindarroch Forest, between Dufftown and Rhynie.

The firm is also involved in proposals for the £150million European Offshore Wind Development Centre off Aberdeen.

David Rodger, project spokesman for the Aultmore proposal, said yesterday: “Following our planning application to Moray Council in October 2007, we are now working towards a decision on the scheme in autumn 2012.

“Although it has been some time since our revised application was submitted, the project is very much still live and we continue to work with the local communities involved.

“The north-east of Scotland is an important area for the company, with the consented 41.4MW Clashindarroch scheme near Huntly and plans for the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre at Aberdeen.”

If the Aultmore project was to go ahead, a community fund of about £60,000 a year would be made available. Mr Rodger estimated the Clashindarroch scheme would involve about £90,000 of annual funding.

The combined value of the two developments would be more than £100million.

Mr Rodger previously said that, although the Aultmore project was quite small, there would be some scope for employment.

Moray campaigners have claimed the area is becoming saturated with windfarms.

Earlier this week, a group of campaigners gathered outside New Elgin hall to protest against German company Vento Ludens’ plans to build up to 19 turbines on Brown Muir, three miles north of Rothes.

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