Cushnie group urges peer to stop

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CAMPAIGNERS against a Donside windfarm application which has been thrown out for the third time, say they they hope the developers get the message “loud and clear” that this is not the place for industrial turbines.

Former Aberdeen South MSP Nicol Stephen - Scotland’s former deputy first minister and now Lord Stephen - was behind the proposal to build three 325ft turbines near Blackhills Farm, Cushnie.

The plan had attracted 348 letters of representation and of those published on Aberdeenshire Council’s website, only one was in support of the peer’s proposed development.

Two previous applications for the turbines were requested to be withdrawn by the planners who said there was a lack of information about the impact the development would have on wildlife. They also said there was not enough information about noise, shadow flicker and the effect on private water supplies and that there were inaccuracies in the environmental statements.

Planners said the size and siting of the masts would have a significant impact on the local landscape character and visual amenity of the area and that their proximity to houses in the vicinity meant the application could not be supported.

Now, 18 months after the initial application - and the company’s third attempt to get approval - planners have refused consent to Green Cat Renewables.

Chairwoman of the Stop Turbines in Cushnie ( StiC) group, Linda van Weereld told the Piper this week: “Lord Nicol Stephen, a former Chair of Grampian’s Economic and Planning Committee, had an opportunity to put right the previous two wrongful applications. He did not. His concern is not for the environment. He has not provided any evidence that his proposed development will reduce greenhouse gas emissions. He has taken no regard of the impact on the people who live in the surrounding area, the disruption/destruction of public amenities and there is no evidence that the scheme is economically viable.

This application displays a clear lack of concern about the environment.

It is more to do with farming the huge subsidies available to developments of this nature.”

Mrs van Weereld, whose house would have been about 550 yards from one of the masts said she hoped the developers would have some human decency and “will leave this one alone now.”

However, she added: ”It is unfortunate that there is nothing to stop Lord Nicol Stephen from submitting as many applications as he likes.

All he has to do is pay the appropriate - paltry - fee.”

A spokesman for Green Cat Renewables said they were disappointed the project had been refused consent.