MP’s concern over Hill of Fare Windfarm proposal

A question that’s been asked many times, does size matter? When it comes to wind turbines, North east Conservative MP Andrew Bowie says it does.

The proposed turbines standing will be over twice the height Big Ben.
The proposed turbines standing will be over twice the height Big Ben.

The Member of Parliament for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine has expressed deep concern over the size and scale of a proposed windfarm at Hill of Fare stating, “They’re simply too big”.

The proposed site for the Hill of Fare windfarm sits within 10 Kilometres of multiple heritage and cultural sites, including the Kincardine O’Neil Conservation Area, yet the proposed turbines could be seen from as far away as Aberdeen City, Moray, and Angus.

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Mr Bowie said: “These turbines will be of a scale not seen on the Scottish landscape ever before, they constitute a substantial deviation from Aberdeenshire Councils recommended tip height of 250ft and will tower above natural landmarks for miles in all directions.”

The proposed turbines standing at 820ft tall will be over twice the height of Big Ben and will stand only 200ft short of the Eiffel Tower.

A strong advocate for the Northeast energy sector Mr Bowie continues to back the oil and gas industry whilst supporting the region to become a global leader in the race to Net Zero, however, he says that transition to greener fuels cannot be done at any cost.

In a letter to local councillors within the Marr Area Mr Bowie highlights that in 2014 Aberdeenshire Council noted “this area of Aberdeenshire has no underlying capacity for wind power”, and in a letter to Dunect Estates where the windfarm is proposed, he states that: “I admire the ambition to play a role in the UKs progression to fully sustainable energy, but these turbines are simply too big”.

Mr Bowie has also written to the SNP/Green Scottish Government insisting that they respect the views of Aberdeenshire Councillors and those they represent when the time comes.

He said “When it comes to proposals of this nature the Scottish Government have a track record of seeking consultation from the local authority, and then ignoring it or overruling it if they don’t like the answer.”

He also calls out the hypocrisy of the Scottish Greens when it comes to protecting the environment: “I’ve always felt it odd that the Scottish Greens, the so called ‘protectors of the environment’ appear happy to rip up the countryside at any cost when it comes to providing sustainable energy.”

Mr Bowie is urging constituents to feed into the public consultation: “Laid flat on the ground each of the seventeen turbines would stretch from my office at one end of Banchory High Street to past the Burnett Arms at the other, it’s vital that residents of West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine air their views on this application.”

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Mr Bowie pledges to continue engaging with all stakeholders on what he says is the “most concerning windfarm proposal to date.”

Renewable energy company RES, said: “Turbine technology has advanced considerably in recent years, meaning that turbines are now taller and more efficient which enables them to generate a significantly greater amount of renewable electricity per turbine.

“Modern taller turbines provide more electricity, which helps address the climate emergency, cost of living crisis, and security of energy supply. The turbines proposed at Hill of Fare would allow for far greater benefits in terms of renewable electricity generation per turbine than smaller turbines would, and in turn reduces the total number of turbines required in a layout to generate the same amount of electricity.

“Wind energy is a free and inexhaustible resource which has an important role to play as part of a balanced energy mix. It increases energy security by reducing our reliance on imports and is not subject to sudden price fluctuations or the uncertainty of global markets.

"At our recent public exhibitions we provided a range of information, including visualisations to help give an impression of what the proposed wind farm may look like from viewpoints in the local area, and the opportunity for the wider community to discuss the proposal with members of our project team.

" These events launched a four-week consultation period for people to provide written feedback to RES on the proposal by Friday 11 November.”

More information can be found at: www.hilloffare-windfarm.co.uk/