Plans for north-east substation rubber-stamped

© SuppliedPlans for an electricity substation have been approved.
Plans for an electricity substation have been approved.

Plans for a new north-east substation and underground cables have been rubber-stamped by councillors.

The substation proposals, from Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission (SHET), are on an area of land to the west of Wood of Middleton.

The development, near Rothienorman, consists of a platform area, control building, plant and infrastructure, ancillary facilities, access track and additional landscape work including a SUDS pond.

It is part of a wider plan to increase capacity between Blairhillock and Peterhead.

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The energy company previously had permission to build the substation, but some changes have been made to the layout – which meant a new planning application had to be decided by Aberdeenshire Council.

Yesterday councillors debated the plans, which have proved controversial among some in the area.

There were concerns raised about the impact of the development on private water supplies, flooding and the increased construction traffic.

However, Lauren Reoch, speaking on behalf of the developer at the meeting, said the energy firm was working together with Sepa to ensure water supplies were monitored before, during and after construction.

Meanwhile it also emerged there as a one in 1,000 year risk of flooding at the site, however Ms Reoch said this was also an issue they would monitor.

And the developer had also agreed with contractors that they were only permitted to access the site from the west, which would not increase traffic in Rothienorman.

Meanwhile, councillors also approved plans for an underground cable, which will form part of a wider link between Scotland and Norway.

The cable would be situated on land adjacent to Stirlinghill Quarry, south of Boddam.

The link would allow renewable electricity to be transmitted in either direction across the North Sea.

Hydro power from Norway could be transferred when local renewable sources such as wind power cannot meet demand, and vice versa for similar situations across the water – planning chief Robert Gray likened it to a “battery” which could power each country.