Residents step up substation opposition

Edna Booth with the proposed site for the substation in the background.
Edna Booth with the proposed site for the substation in the background.

Villagers have stepped up their opposition to plans for an electricity substation in their Aberdeenshire coastal community.

The majority of residents in Blackdog, near Balmedie, are against the proposals amid concerns about possible land contamination, and they have now launched an online petition.

The substation is linked to the multi-million pound offshore windfarm project in Aberdeen Bay. Over 60 out of more than 80 householders in Blackdog sent letters of protest to Formartine Area Committee regarding the substation plans, which are for a former landfill site south of Hareburn Terrace.

Following a public hearing into the onshore project earlier this year, the committee asked the developers, European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC), to carry out 
site investigation work including surveys and exploratory tests as part of an environmental impact assessment.

Local people say they are fed up of Blackdog being treated as the region’s “dumping ground” for nearly half a century.

They maintain the fight against the substation to bring the power ashore from the wind turbines is only the latest round in a “constant battle”.

Edna Booth, who has spearheaded the campaign along with neighbour Nicola Brown, told the Times: “The online petition has just started. The whole issue has hit a bit of a lull and we are hoping it come back into focus again.

“Things are in a bit of limbo until the plans came back before the area committee. We are hoping as many people as possible will sign the online petition.”

EOWDC spokesman Ian Todd said they were aware of the concerns of the Blackdog community and a report of the findings of the site investigation would be submitted to the council in due course, as part of the overall environmental impact assessment.

An Aberdeenshire Council spokeswoman said they were still awaiting the land survey and the environmental impact assessment.