Proposals for a solar farm near a north-east village have been backed by planning chiefs.
Green Energy International want to build nearly 30 solar panels on land at Moss-side, near Crimond – which would create the first major solar farm on that stretch of the A90 Peterhead to Fraserburgh road.
If approved, Bilbo Solar Farm would be in operation for 35 years.
On Tuesday, members of the Buchan area committee will be asked to back the scheme.
In a report to councillors, planning officers say the development would have a positive environmental impact and work the target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050.
Stephen Archer, director of infrastructure services, states in the document: “The development site is relatively flat and featureless.
“The local visual impact assessment (LVIA) has considered the impact of the development from four viewpoints, which represent a range of receptor tyes. The LVIA concludes that the development would be unlikely to have a significant impact upon the majority of receptors.”
Mr Archer added that while there would be a “significant” visual impact in respect of local residents on minor roads around the development, this would be “largely attributed to the magnitude of change”.
During the application process, Green Energy International were asked to carry out a detailed goose survey to assess the impact of the development on nearby Loch of Strathbeg.
Mr Archer tells councillors in his report: “The survey has demonstrated that relatively low numbers of barnacle geese were found to be using the site, and when considered in conjunction with the extensive, suitable foraging areas in the vicinity, it is unlikely that the conservation objections for this species would be undermined.
“At peak count, approximately 4% of the wintering population of pink-footed geese used the development site, with the weekly mean usage of around 1%. The report estimates that approximately 1.09% of accessible and suitable habitat (those withink 20km – 12 miles – of the loch) would be impacted.”
He added that construction would take about three months over the summer, which may overlap with the arrival of some birds to the loch, but said it was unlikely to cause significant disturbance given the distance.
The committee will discuss the proposals, recommended for approval, when they meet in Peterhead next week.