Reporters examining the Aberdeenshire local plan have recommended that the local authority re-examine it’s wind farm policies after branding them “confusing” and “lacking transparency and creating uncertainty”.
Mearns Conservative Councillor George Carr, has said he is “delighted” by the reporters’ recommendation and that he “agrees wholeheartedly” that the policies are confusing and lack transparency.
Councillor Carr, speaking at this month’s Kincardine and Mearns Area Committee meeting said: “I am delighted to see this recommendation coming forward from the Reporters Unit. I have repeatedly expressed my concerns about where we are going with this. It’s not about whether you are for or against wind turbines, it’s about a settled view with the public having an adequate say on where wind turbines should be sited within our landscape.
“It allows the public, developers, and councillors to follow a robust policy line when trying to reach a decision on determination. They have recommended that Aberdeenshire will have 12 months to formulate a new policy document which will also involve public consultation and will conform to Scottish Government policy. I hope that this process will result in a geographical element, similar to how we allocate housing. Landscape designations to my mind are far to vague and subjective, leading to public disquiet on siting turbines.
“I also think that Scottish Government also have a responsibility to give some indication as to how much renewable energy from wind they expect Aberdeenshire to provide. This will then give us a base line on what level of energy generation to allocate, the same as we do for predicting housing requirements.”
Councillor Carr added that current policies will remain in place until the new policy is formulated and agreed by Reporters. Councillors at the area committee voted to agree with the reporters reccomendations for the local development plan.