Boost for Aberdeen Bay windfarm project

OPPOSITION to the contentious windfarm proposed for Aberdeen Bay has eased. The Ministry of Defence and National Air Traffic Service (NATS) have withdrawn their objections to the 11-turbine project following talks with the developers.

RSPB Scotland has had its fears allayed after further studies showed the development would have a low impact on birds and other wildlife.

Meanwhile, tycoon Donald Trump, who has put on hold further work at his Menie estate golf resort until a ruling on the application, promised to continue his fight against the scheme.

Revised plans for the windfarm will be discussed by Aberdeenshire councillors today.

In August the team behind the European Offshore Wind Development Centre altered the proposals, making some of the turbines 12ft taller, taking them to a total height of 651ft. They also reduced the size of the turbines closest to the shore by more than 47ft.

Councillors on the infrastructure services committee will now examine the new plans and forward any further views to Marine Scotland, which is due to reach a decision on the application before the end of the year.

The Formartine and Buchan area committees have already discussed the proposals and voiced concern about the visual and noise impacts on housing developments earmarked for the Balmedie area.

The council’s director of infrastructure services, Stephen Archer, says in a report: “The main issues that Aberdeenshire Council should be assessing in relation to this proposal are the impact of the turbines on the character of the area.

“It must be emphasised that due to the size of the turbines proposed they will be visible from some distance from coastal locations throughout the eastern coast of Aberdeenshire.

“As there are no offshore turbines in this area at present, the installation of these will create a significant visual effect on these coastal areas north of Aberdeen.”