Residents clash over Ythanbank turbines

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RESIDENTS living near Ythanbank are being urged to voice their opinions, after plans were lodged this week for four 80m turbines near the village.

The proposals, by Yowlie Energy Ltd through Green Cat renewables, have sparked anger from local residents, who say that the area already hosts more than its fair share of wind turbines.

Tarves resident Martin Myhill Sisley told the Times that the devices would dominate the landscape, and that a large number of residents had voiced their opinion that the project should not be allowed to proceed.

“We are up to about 45-50 members thus far. Originally, the group was formed by people living within sight of the Prop of Ythsie, but since then it has grown to include people from Auchedly and Ythanbank who are concerned at the impact the proposals will have. We’ve been talking about formally constituting the group since November, but the announcement that the plans have been lodged mean we have decided to take action.

“No one has been notified, on the technical grounds that the farmers who own the land are all neighbours. There have been vague allusions to some sort of community benefit, but there has been no detail. The consultation exercise in Ythanbank Hall didn’t mention anything about the environment or green energy - this has pure economic motivations behind it.”

Yowlie Energy - a consortium of local farmers in the Ythanbank and Tarves area - have defended the scheme, saying that it will bring much needed local investment to the area, as well as financial benefits to the local community.

In a press release, the company stated: “The construction of the proposed cluster would represent a large investment in the local area. A project of this scale would mean in excess of £1m being spent in the locality of the project, with a range of contracts being placed with anything from electrical and civil engineering companies to fencers and hoteliers. The intention would be to give preference to local businesses.”

The developers also say that around £6,400 each year would be earmarked for community uses from the project, to benefit residents in the region between Tarves and Ythanbank.

“Yowlie Energy will contribute to a “community fund” to be created to allow local community projects to benefit from the wind turbines year on year. It is understood that there are already plans to form a community trust in the broader Methlick/Tarves area to enable community benefit funds to be ‘pooled’, allowing more ambitious community projects to be considered. Yowlie Energy welcomes this development and once operational would be keen to participate. In line with council guidelines, the scheme will contribute around £2000 per installed MW capacity per year. For a 3.2MW project, this equates to £6,400 per year over the life of the project.”