Moving forward with the proposals for Hill of Braco Windfarm on the outskirts of Hatton, PNE Wind UK has confirmed that it will be removing the meteorological mast at the site as enough data has been gathered to support its plans.
The temporary meteorological mast was installed in April 2010 to assess wind speeds and direction on the site, and after three years of information gathering, the structure will be removed later this month.
PNE project manager for Hill of Braco, Megan Richardson, commented: “The temporary met mast has enabled PNE to assess the wind conditions of the site and we are satisfied that we have now gathered sufficient data from the mast to inform our proposals.
“Removing temporary met masts is a routine practice and we do not anticipate any impact upon local residents, however, if anyone does have any questions we will be happy to answer them and contact details are available on the project website at www.hillofbracowind.co.uk.”
The met mast (anemometer) will be removed from the site by contractors for PNE Wind UK and redeployed at another site.
Michelle Emslie, a Buchan resident and staunch opponent of the development, said: “The mast was a blot on the landscape and a constant reminder of what shouldn’t be.
“There is so little support for it. There were people who were trying to sell their houses and the mast was a reminder that a windfarm was coming.”
Only last month the Scottish Environment Protection Agency lodged a formal objection against the plans. The environmental body said that developers had failed to show how the scheme would impact on private water supplies. It also raised concerns about the effect construction of the windfarm would have on peat at the site.
However, it would continue to talk with the developers and may lift its objections if more details could be provided.
Aberdeenshire Council enviroment planner Peter Fraser launched a damning criticism of the project.
In his closing in a memorandum sent to Aberdeenshire Council DM Wind Energy Team he said: “The landscapes of Aberdeenshire are identified as a valuable asset and vulnerable resource which is facing mounting pressures for change.
“Such development has the potential to fundamentally alter the currently perceived value of the landscape and therefore profoundly effect this fundamental aspect of people’s quality of life, aspects of the local economy and enviroment.”