More than 1,100 objections lodged against wind farm plans

Controversial plans to build the UK’s tallest wind farm on Royal Deeside have received more than 1,100 objections from the public.
Scottish Conservative MSP for Aberdeenshire West, Alexander Burnett has campaigned against the proposals.Scottish Conservative MSP for Aberdeenshire West, Alexander Burnett has campaigned against the proposals.
Scottish Conservative MSP for Aberdeenshire West, Alexander Burnett has campaigned against the proposals.

The proposals would see 16 massive turbines, measuring up to 656ft and twice the height of Big Ben, erected in the countryside at Hill of Fare near Banchory.

But new figures obtained by a freedom of information request show 1,124 objections have been received by the Scottish Government’s Energy Consents Unit since the application was lodged in November.

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Among objections from residents include fears that 45,000 people living within 15km of the proposed site, in more than 20 community council areas, would suffer from “visual impact, shadow flicker, noise, infrasound and the loss of landscape”.

Various community councils have also spoken out against the plans. In its objection, Torphins Community Council raised six different points and say residents would receive just £45 each per year from the community benefit package proposed by RES.

Banchory said the proposal “makes woefully insufficient effort to mitigate the impact on the appearance of the area” while Crathes Drumoak and Durris Community Council said the wind farm would “industrialise this part of lower Deeside, adversely affecting our sense of place and our wellbeing”.

Just 25 representations of support have been submitted for the proposed giant wind farm, which developer RES previously said could be seen from 20 miles away in all directions, from Moray to Angus.

In total, 1,149 representations were submitted up to January 27, made up of 1,146 from members of the public and just three from organisations.

Scottish Conservative MSP for Aberdeenshire West, Alexander Burnett, who has campaigned against the proposals and previously wrote to the National Trust for Scotland over concerns, said: “Residents are rightly furious at this monstrosity of a development near Banchory and I’m glad they are standing up for what they believe in by making their voices heard to the Scottish Government.

“The high number of objections sends a clear message that communities are overwhelmingly opposed to the Hill of Fare wind farm proposal which risks setting a planning precedent that would lead to the decimation of Royal Deeside.

“These plans will tarnish this spectacular countryside and fire the starting gun on a ring of steel on Royal Deeside.

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“Having met with communities now dominated by wind farms, I’ve heard first-hand how their lives have been impacted on an industrial scale and I’m hugely concerned that this development will similarly impact North East residents.

“I strongly encourage everyone opposed to the plans, who haven’t already submitted their objections, to do so and to further show the strength of public feeling towards this development.

“I also urge residents to back Banchory Community Council’s petition calling on Aberdeenshire Council to object to the wind farm, which would trigger a public inquiry and greatly enhance the likelihood of the proposal being refused by the Scottish Government.”

You can sign the petition here