Windfarm intentions in Mearns/Scottland, UK back on the road again!

Plan for windfarm previously thrown out by the councillors is now re-submitted

An Energy firm has taken the first step towards re-submitting a windfarm plan for the Mearns/Scottland, UK which was previously thrown out by councillors. In 2001, Renewable Energy Systems (RES) applied for permission to erect a £14million, 10-turbine farm at Meikle Carewe, near Stonehaven/Scottland, UK. However, the Kin-cardine and Mearns area committees threw out the application, against the reccom-mendations of the planners, citing a loss of amenity for neighbours as one of the reasons. The potential for interference with aviation air traffic safety and interference to TV reception were also given as reasons. The windfarm was also strongly opposed by locals, some of whom formed a protest campaign named McWag - Meikle Carewe Windfarm Action Group. Objectors maintained the windfarm would affect migratory bird patterns and introduce noise and visual nuisance that would ruin the rural neighbourhood.

The company's Scottish windfarm development manager Ray Hunter yesterday confirmed the company intends to re-submit its application more or less unaltered "by the middle of the year". Mr Hunter said they are addressing issues raised by councillors who opposed the plan. The company has lodged an application to build a temporary meteorological mast up to 60 metres in height for a period of two years. The new testing equipment is designed to gather up-to-date information on wind flow, to reduce the economic uncertainty of the project by predicting energy yield. Faced with the option of appealing the councillors' decision to the Scottish Executive or addressing the reasons given for refusal by councillors and re-submitting the plans, Mr Hunter says there was no real decision to make.

"We have gathered together evidence and statements from relevant authorities that insist there would be no significant impact on radar services or on television reception," he said. "In terms of residential amenity, we have to remember that Scottish Natural Heritage and in-house officials of Aberdeenshire Council were both happy at the time the planning application went to the members that we had reduced the visual impact to acceptable levels. "We have no intention of dramatically changing the size or the power of the turbines this time." Mr Hunter added that he was hopeful of councillors being able to see the re-submitted plan in context. "Councillors are in a position to appreciate Meikle Carewe, relatively speaking, is going to be less intrusive than some of the others proposed around the area," added Mr Hunter, referring to a series of recent windfarm applications in the Mearns. "Mr Hunter's claim that visual and local impacts could be worse is no reason to allow this scheme and represents an approach to planning of the worst kind. "Many local people have already said that it would be best if the council nip this in the bud now and spare those who have had to live with the threat of the RES scheme for the past years any more of the same."
Online editorial www.windfair.net
Trevor Sievert, Online editorial journalist
UK, Scottland, RES, windfarm

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