COUNCILLORS have deferred a decision on controversial electricity substation plans at Blackdog to allow further investigations at the site north of Aberdeen.
It follows a site visit and public hearing last week into the proposals, which would link with the Aberdeen Bay windfarm scheme.
A report before the Formartine Area Committee on Tuesday recommended support for full planning permission.
Several councillors expressed concern about the limited evidence of the potential impact of the development on land which has historically been used for the waste disposal.
Councillor Allan Hendry expressed disappointment that additional documents relating to the history of the site, provided by the applicants, had not been made available before the committee.
He moved to defer the application to allow for further investigations, including areas of land stretching from the beach, and where a proposed cable would be laid.
The committee was told the most recent investigatory works had taken place in 2003 and 2004.
Supporting the motion for deferral, Councillor Jim Gifford called for additional evidence, including the production of an environmental impact assessment, investigation of a former railway track as a possible alternative cabling route, traffic assessments, additional screening measures, and a restoration bond.
Councillor Isobel Davidson echoed concerns about traffic movement onto the A90 and the impact of the development on the community before lodging an amendment for refusal.
It was seconded by Councillor Gillian Owen, who suggested the development would sit better within the wider Energetica Corridor development. Deferral was passed by eight votes to three.