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Developers appeal decisions by Aberdeenshire Council to reject turbines developments

Artist impression of the turbines proposed for Hill of Rothmaise, Rothienorman
Artist impression of the turbines proposed for Hill of Rothmaise, Rothienorman

Two wind farm developers have lodged separate appeals to the Scottish Government after their plans to build in a scenic area of Aberdeenshire were refused.

Two 326ft structures were proposed by WPD Rothmaise on farmland at the Hill of Rothmaise, near Fisherford, in May but were refused by Aberdeenshire Council’s Garioch area committee.

Earlier, a turbine of the same size – proposed by Muirden Energy at the Hill of Tillymorgan, also near Fisherford – was rejected by councillors.

Members concluded the Hill of Rothmaise development would have a “significant and unacceptable” impact and would lead to a “landscape of turbines” in the area.

Another 20 are already approved within six-and-a-quarter miles of the proposed site- 10 of them within three miles – while a further four are in the pipeline.

At the Hill of Tillymorgan, three turbines have already been approved.

Both WPD Rothmaise and Muirden Energy have now lodged planning permission appeals to Holyrood’s directorate for planning and environmental appeals.

A spokeswoman for Scottish Government said both cases would be dealt with on their individual “merits”.

She added: “Scottish ministers have received two appeals against the decision of Aberdeenshire Council to refuse planning permission in relation to wind turbine applications.

“Both appeals are at an early stage and once a reporter has been appointed, each will be considered on its merits.”

Originally, the Tillymorgan project was to be one-sixth owned by the Friends of Insch Hospital.

West Garioch councillor, Patricia Oddie, said the area near Rothienorman had reached “saturation point” in regards to turbines.

She added: “Whilst I support wholeheartedly the Friends of Insch Hospital and am not opposed to the principles of renewable energy I was unable to support a further turbine on Tillymorgan.

“It would heavily impact on the amenity of local residents and visitors who regularly use the hill due to cumulative impact.

“The landscape has a history of slate production which whilst not aesthetically beautiful is very much a part of local history.

She added: “For people that have objected, of course this is going to be a blow.”

A WPD Rothemaise spokesman said: “WPD are convinced that the proposal meets all planning and design standards and would provide a meaningful green electricity supply which is at an appropriate scale for the local area.”

A spokesman for Muirden Energy was not available for comment.

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