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Councillors to rule on colleague’s wind turbine bid… Again

Sandy Duncan will discover on Thursday if he has won planning permission.
Sandy Duncan will discover on Thursday if he has won planning permission.

A councillor at the centre of a planning controversy will discover this week whether he has gained permission to build a wind turbine.

Turriff councillor Sandy Duncan first lodged proposals to build the 150ft-high structure at his land at Beechwood, Forglen, three years ago, and has subsequently had planning permission withdrawn twice.

A legal challenge at the Court of Session delayed the scheme earlier this year and planning approval was held up again last month when Mr Duncan was accused of “cronyism”.

It emerged the SNP councillor had sent emails, using his council account, which called for party members on the Banff and Buchan area committee, to support his plans.

A final decision on whether Mr Duncan can proceed with the scheme will be made on Thursday at a meeting of the authority’s infrastructure services committee.

Council planners have suggested the scheme be refused because of the impact it would have on the Deveron Valley.

In his report on the proposal, Stephen Archer, the council’s director of infrastructure services, stated: “The proposal is considered to be inappropriate in this location due to its size and position as it is likely to impact upon the character and appearance of the Deveron and Upper Ythan Valleys.”

Mr Duncan has denied any wrongdoing since sending the emails and has referred himself to the Standards Commission, which will consider if he has breached the code of conduct.

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