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Anger over 820ft wind turbine plan

The Press and Journal|Ryan Duff and Simon Warburton|September 15, 2022
United Kingdom (UK)Impact on LandscapeImpact on People
The proposed turbines would dwarf Scotland’s tallest building, the Glasgow Tower, which stands at 417ft. West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine MP Andrew Bowie said: “It’s an imposing prospect, not just for Banchory but for much of the north-east. “Considering these would be seen from Moray, Aberdeen and the Mearns, many communities should get their say.”

Huge structures near Banchory could be visible in Aberdeen and Mearns
 
A storm is blowing up over plans to build 17 820ft wind turbines outside Banchory – which would be “theoretically visible” in Aberdeen, across the Mearns and even Moray.
 
Renewables developer RES is behind the proposed development, which has viewpoints from 20 miles away in all directions, according to planning documents.
 
The Hill of Fare wind farm plans have sparked an outcry from campaigners who highlight fears that local residents’ views will be spoiled, as well as concerns over noise pollution.
 
The site, being developed in partnership with Dunecht Estates, would have an expected generating capacity of around 122 megawatts capable of powering 90,000 homes.
 
However, Scotland Against Spin, an organisation calling for the reform of the Scottish Government’s wind energy policy, said estate owner The Hon Charles Anthony Pearson “lives far away and will not have to live with the presence of the turbines” while RES “is only interested in its bottom line”.
 
The proposed turbines would dwarf Scotland’s tallest building, the Glasgow Tower, which stands at 417ft.
 
West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine MP Andrew Bowie said: “It’s an imposing prospect, not just for Banchory but for much of the north-east.
 
“Considering these would be seen from Moray, Aberdeen and the Mearns, many communities should get their say.”
 
Controversy has been sparked over plans to build one of the tallest onshore wind farms in the UK, less than four miles from Banchory in Aberdeenshire.
 
Renewables developer RES is behind the 17-turbine development.
 
Each machine would be 820ft tall and “theoretically visible” up to nearly 22 miles in all directions, from Moray to Angus, acc ... more [truncated due to possible copyright]
     
Huge structures near Banchory could be visible in Aberdeen and Mearns
 
A storm is blowing up over plans to build 17 820ft wind turbines outside Banchory – which would be “theoretically visible” in Aberdeen, across the Mearns and even Moray.
 
Renewables developer RES is behind the proposed development, which has viewpoints from 20 miles away in all directions, according to planning documents.
 
The Hill of Fare wind farm plans have sparked an outcry from campaigners who highlight fears that local residents’ views will be spoiled, as well as concerns over noise pollution.
 
The site, being developed in partnership with Dunecht Estates, would have an expected generating capacity of around 122 megawatts capable of powering 90,000 homes.
 
However, Scotland Against Spin, an organisation calling for the reform of the Scottish Government’s wind energy policy, said estate owner The Hon Charles Anthony Pearson “lives far away and will not have to live with the presence of the turbines” while RES “is only interested in its bottom line”.
 
The proposed turbines would dwarf Scotland’s tallest building, the Glasgow Tower, which stands at 417ft.
 
West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine MP Andrew Bowie said: “It’s an imposing prospect, not just for Banchory but for much of the north-east.
 
“Considering these would be seen from Moray, Aberdeen and the Mearns, many communities should get their say.”
 
Controversy has been sparked over plans to build one of the tallest onshore wind farms in the UK, less than four miles from Banchory in Aberdeenshire.
 
Renewables developer RES is behind the 17-turbine development.
 
Each machine would be 820ft tall and “theoretically visible” up to nearly 22 miles in all directions, from Moray to Angus, according to planning documents.
 
The Hill of Fare wind farm has sparked an outcry from opponents, while local residents are being urged to give their views in an upcoming consultation.
 
Its height will fall just shy of the turbines in an extension to the Lethans development planned for New Cumnock in East Ayrshire, billed as the “tallest on-land wind farm in the world.”
 
Hill of Fare will be around 30ft short of those but still nearly twice the height of the Glasgow Tower, Scotland’s tallest building.
 
The proposed turbines are only 263ft short of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, looming over the French capital at 1,083ft, while the huge turbines in the sea off Aberdeen are 627ft.
 
The Hill of Fare site being developed in partnership with Dunecht Estates would have an expected generating capacity of around 122 megawatts, if approved.
 
According to RES, it will produce enough electricity to power 90,000 homes and create a reduction in carbon emissions of around 157,000 tons every year.
 
Scotland Against Spin, a campaign group calling for reform of the Scottish Government’s wind energy policy, is against the proposed development.
 
Chairman Graham Lang said: “We have had many contacts from local people concerned about the impact the proposed Hill of Fare wind farm will have on their visual amenity,
 
and the noise that will impact on the enjoyment of their homes.
 
“The owner of the site lives far away and will not have to live with the presence of the turbines and as one of the wealthiest people in the UK has no need of the rental income.
 
“The developer, of course, is only interested in their bottom line.”
 
West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine MP Andrew
 
Bowie said: “It’s an imposing prospect, not just for Banchory but for much of the north-east.
 
“Considering these would be seen from Moray, Aberdeen and the Mearns, many communities should get their say.
 
“An application like this must rest on the wishes of those in the area.”
 
It is expected the project will be subject to an Aberdeenshire Council public inquiry, with local residents invited to share their opinions. RES intends to consult extensively with residents during the coming months.
 
A spokesman for the firm said: “With the combined threat of rising energy bills and climate change, it’s essential that we fast-track our transition to renewables.
 
“Onshore wind can generate cheap, clean, home-grown electricity for consumers and now is the time to double down on the benefits the technology can deliver.
 
“In recent years turbine technology has continued to advance considerably – meaning turbines are now more efficient, allowing them to generate a significantly greater amount of renewable electricity per turbine.
 
“Over the coming months we will be talking extensively to the local community around our Hill of Fare wind farm proposal and, more importantly, we’ll also be listening to their feedback.”
 
The company has been at the forefront of wind energy development for more than 40 years, with 23 gigawatts of capacity installed worldwide.
 
RES has either developed or developed and built 21 wind farms, totalling 597MW, and developed, built and operated such projects since 1993.
 
The project will be on land at Dunecht Estate – one of the largest private estates in Aberdeenshire – owned by Charles Pearson, younger son of the 3rd Viscount Cowdray.
 
The main part of the estate lies between Banchory and Westhill, encompassing the village of Dunecht, the Loch of Skene and the stately home of Dunecht House.
 
Mr Pearson lives between his two homes in West Sussex and Aberdeenshire.
 
The estate was asked for comment.

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