The Scottish Government has reversed a local authority decision to reject plans for a 260ft mast in a scenic Aberdeenshire locale.
The proposals by Coriolis Energy for an anemometer mast on the Glendye Estate, near Strachan, were thrown out by Aberdeenshire Council’s Marr area committee last year.
However, the company has now won a Scottish Government appeal against the decision.
Anemometer masts are used to gauge the wind power potential of a specific area. Coriolis Energy is currently consulting on proposals for a potential 37-turbine wind farm at Glendye.
Wind farm development manager for the firm, James Baird, said: “We are pleased the Scottish Government’s planning and environmental appeals division upheld Aberdeenshire Council officers’ recommendation to grant approval for the anemometer mast.
“We do fully appreciate the views put forward by consultees and councillors regarding this and look forward to engaging with them and all stakeholders over the coming year as we gather feedback to help shape and inform the proposed Glendye wind farm.”
The mast was objected to by the Grampian Microlight Flying Club, whilst councillors also feared for the landscape around Clachnaben.
Aboyne, Upper Deeside and Donside councillor, Peter Argyle, said: “The area committee gave a great deal of careful thought to the application for this mast before deciding to refuse consent, principally on the grounds of safety for recreational flying.
“This area is frequently used by recreational fliers to avoid the controlled airspace around Aberdeen airport. We were concerned about the possibility of an accident involving a light aircraft.
“It is disappointing that the reporter did not accept this argument.”
In the appeal decision notice, Scottish Government reporter Allison Coard said: “Having viewed the area on my site visit from Cairn O’ Mount and the summit of Clachnaben, I appreciate its undeveloped character.
“However, I also noted the extensive scale of this landscape.
“In this respect, I consider that the siting of this slender temporary structure to avoid any exposed ridge-line and set against a backcloth of rising land would avoid any significant or detrimental change to landscape character.”