A major new windfarm development has been referred to Aberdeenshire Council’s infrastructure services committee for a formal objection to be made.
The application by Coriolis Energy for the installation of 26 wind turbines and associated infrastructure on the Fasque and Glendye Estates, north of Edzell. went before members of the Kincardine and Mearns Area Committee in Stonehaven.
Coriolis Energy wants to build the 149.9m-high turbines and has lodged plans with the Scottish Government which have gone out to “wide-ranging public consultation”.
Aberdeenshire Council recommended Kincardine and Mearns members opposed the development because the “significant environmental effects” would outweigh the benefits of the scheme.
The report stated: “In conclusion, it is considered that the significant environmental effects highlighted, in terms of landscape and visual amenity, are sufficient to outweigh the benefits of the scheme to contribute towards meeting Scotland’s renewable energy production.
“The proposal cannot be supported and as such, it is recommended that Aberdeenshire raise an objection regarding the application to the Scottish Government.”
The council will now issue a formal response to the Scottish Government following a meeting of the infrastructure services committee in March.
Concerns were raised that the onshore windfarm would have a negative impact on the natural environment and went against Aberdeenshire Council’s local development plan.
Coriolis and partner developers ESB – an Irish energy company – believe the location would be suitable for generating environmentally-friendly electricity and highlighted the benefits that would be made available to the local community through cash grants.
The Ministry of Defence cited “unacceptable interference” on the air defence radar at RRH Buchan as their reason for objecting to the proposal.
The John Muir Trust also objected on the grounds of detrimental visual impacts of the development around Cairngorm National Park and the negative socio-economic impact on tourism.
The Save Clachnaben – Stop the Glendye Windfarm group objected in the grounds that the turbines could be too close to the popular walkers’ hill of Clachnaben.
Aberdeenshire Council, as planning authority, is the statutory consultee in the process.
It is for the planning authority to consider the proposal against its local development plan, and respond to Scottish Ministers’ consultation on the application.