North-east residents have rallied together to ensure their voices are heard over a contentious planning application for two wind turbines in their community.
Dozens of people from St Fergus gathered at a public meeting yesterday to discuss the planning application that has been submitted to Aberdeenshire Council for two 390-ft wind turbines which would sit on land next to the St Fergus gas terminal.
The meeting allowed residents to voice their concerns about the turbines with worries ranging from the impact it could have on local wildlife, to safety and the visual impact the development would have on the coastline.
St Fergus Energy Ltd is seeking full planning permission for the scheme and claims it will reduce the carbon footprint of the terminal through the use of clean electricity.
However, the residents hope to gather information and evidence in advance of the application being discussed at the next Buchan area committee meeting.
One of the members of St Fergus Against Wind Turbines, Lorraine Duthie, said: “Originally, the application was for four wind turbines and operators in the gas terminal were under the impression we were supportive of this until we wrote a letter. ”
Six generations of Ms Duthie’s family have lived in St Fergus and she feels the “village is not as safe as it used to be.”
She said: “With the gas terminal, we now have MoD police in the area, due to there being a higher risk of terrorism.”
Residents also fear the proximity of the turbines to the road and the gas terminal is a cause for concern.
One attendee who chose to remain anonymous, said: “To put these turbines so close to the gas terminal isn’t safe. It doesn’t matter if the chances of an accident happening are small because the consequences of something going wrong is huge.”
Ms Duthie added: “We also know about blade failure and this does happen. If it were to happen here, the consequences would be catastrophic, given how close the turbines would be to the gas terminal and the road.”
“We have also got such a beautiful coastline and it is the biggest unspoiled beach in the whole of Europe. Many tourists come to see it and there’s also lots of local wildlife as well that could be spooked by them.”
Nobody from Green Cat Renewables was available for comment.