Plans for a north-east windfarm were rejected by councillors yesterday, on the grounds they would contribute to a “landscape of turbines”.
WPD Rothmaise was seeking full planning permission to erect two 326ft structures on farmland at the Hill of Rothmaise, near Rothienorman.
However, Aberdeenshire Council’s Garioch area committee refused the application after planning officers warned they would have a “significant and unacceptable” impact on the local landscape.
Another 20 turbine developments are already approved within six-and-a-quarter miles of the proposed scheme – 10 of them within three miles – while a further four are in the works.
Aberdeenshire Council planning spokesman Bruce Strachan underlined the findings of a local authority report yesterday, claiming the project would have a “detrimental” effect on the area.
He added that the windfarm would be a “predominant feature of the landscape” and would contribute to “a landscape of turbines”.
Three wind turbines are already in the pipeline on land next to the Hill of Rothmaise as part of the neighbouring Hill of Tillymorgan scheme.
Objector Linette Cormack – who lives at one of the closest properties to the proposed development – said she and her neighbours feared for local wildlife, noise pollution and construction traffic if the plans were approved.
She added: “There is a track over the Rothiemaise Hill, I walked it the other day and saw the area where the turbines are planned.
“In front of me I can clearly see nearly all of the 20 turbines. In a few months I will be able to view more than 40 turbines. Rothmaise has no capacity for any more such large turbines.”
WPD Rothmaise spokesman John Campbell-Copp said: “The proposals received no objection from any consultees but we do acknowledge the recommendations by planning officers and the community councils and local residents.”
However, he insisted the landscape around the turbines “has the ability to absorb the windfarms”, adding: “The inclusion of Rothmaise wouldn’t tip the balance.”
Asked if the firm would be seeking to appeal to the Scottish Government to overturn the decision, he said he did not want to comment.
West Garioch councillor, Sheila Lonchay, said she believed the committee had made the right decision.
“I saw nothing that made me disagree with the consultations with the planners,” she said.