Windfarm developer meets with community

COMMUNITY councillors from across Buchan met on Wednesday night with representatives from renewable energy developer PNE Wind UK to discuss proposals for a windfarm on the outskirts of Hatton.

The site being proposed for the development is an area of farmland located approximately 7km north-west of the village and at last night’s meeting a community liaison group was formed which will meet regularly over the coming months to discuss plans for the HIll of Braco wind farm.

The project currently comprises 12 turbines to be situated at Moss of Cruden, north of Hatton.

Representatives from Cruden, Longside and District and Ellon community councils form the new group, which will allow information exchange between the developer and communities giving local people the opportunity to participate and shape the development as it progresses towards planning submission. The next liaison group meeting is proposed for April 18 where plans will be discussed for the first of two public exhibitions, due to be held at the end of April.

Speaking to the Buchanie on Thursday, Rosie Vetter, PNE Wind UK’s community relations and project development manager, said: “Throughout the pre-planning process the Community Liaison Group (CLG) has input into all aspects of the proposed development including the viewpoints used for photomontages, as well as providing invaluable local ecological and cultural heritage information on anything from bird breeding sites to sites of ancient battles.

“This information will then be used to optimise the design of the site, including the size, number and precise layout of turbines, access tracks and associated infrastructure. By involving local people in this process it is our aim to deliver a sensitively designed wind farm which will benefit the surrounding communities for many years to come.”

The Hill of Braco proposal is for 12 average-sized turbines, each with an expected rating of 2.5 megawatts and full wind farm capacity of 30 megawatts.

Project scoping has already been competed and the pre-application consultation is now underway for the development.

Rosie added: “We welcome the views and feedback from all members of the community and they can contact us via www.hillofbracowind.co.uk”