Wind turbine proposal could affect two castles warn council planners

TWO Buchan men are set to find if they are to be granted planning consent for the erection of three wind turbines at two different farms at Rathen.

Full planning permission is being sought for the erection of two Enercon E48 800 kW turbines on 55.6m masts at Gowanfold Farm, and the erection of one Enercon E48 800 kW turbine on a 55.6m mast at Hallmoss Farm.

The applications, from Mr P. Bruce and Mr G. Wisely of Harbour Road/Gowanfold Farm, Fraserburgh, were considered by members of the Buchan area committee when they met in Peterhead earlier this week.

Councillors heard that eight letters of representation from seven households were received to the Hallmoss application for one turbine. Two of these objected to the application and five were in support.

The objections are based on concerns over noise impact, adverse visual impact, the site is a flight path for geese, it could devalue the price of property, and the road is not fit for heavy traffic.

Supporters say the turbine will be good for the environment, the applicant will no longer have to use diesel compressors for his business and that jobs will be created through the manufacturing of turbines.

There were no letters of representation to the Gowanfold application for two turbines.

However, the planning department says it cannot support both applications because the proposed unbalanced layout of the three turbine scheme would detract from the quality and character of this designated and sensitive landscape.

In a report to councillors, planning officer Andrew Grey states: “In terms of purely landscape and visual impacts there is an argument for supporting just one of the applications.

“However this argument does not stand up when assessing the impact of the turbines on built and cultural heritage features in the vicinity.

“The two turbine scheme at Gowanfold Farm is considered to have a detrimental impact on the setting of the category A-listed Cairnbulg Castle while both sites would separately and collectively have a detrimental impact on the setting of Inverallochy Castle which is a Scheduled Ancient Monument and a B-listed building.

“Members views are sought prior to reporting to the Banff and Buchan area committee for determination,” he adds.