Objections can be made either in writing, by direct email or by using the planning department’s website to submit your comments. Whichever method you choose, it is important that you include the following information in your correspondence:
- The application reference number: APP/2013/2279
- Official location of the site: “Land to the West of Blackhills Farm, Cushnie, Alford”
- Your name and address. In a letter print your name under your signature and make sure you get an acknowledgement.
- Your reasons for objecting to the application (see below) and your connections with the area, e.g. resident, frequent visitor, business interests, hill walker, paraglider, cyclist etc.
- Make sure your objection refers specifically to this application. It won’t count if you say you object for the same reasons the Pressendye scheme was rejected or for the same reasons you submitted for any of the previous three applications.
1. The planning application can be viewed on http://tinyurl.com/7rh892o
2. If writing, objections should be sent to:
Please make sure you print your name under your signature.
3. By email, send your objection to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Make sure you give details in your email of your name and address, etc., as above.
4. Alternatively, submit a comment via the Planning Department website - click here to do it NOW, instantly online.
The following are examples of the type of material objection the Planning Department will take into account. They are not in order of priority. All these examples are important.
- Harm to wildlife, habitats and plants. Red kite, goshawk, kestrel and buzzards frequent the area in addition to many small birds that are on the watch list. Bats, red squirrels, pine martens and wildcats are all resident in the area and move across the site between surrounding woodland. There is a 100-bat maternity roost at Blackhills Farmhouse. The site is on the migration path of geese, an osprey is frequently seen flying to and from the nearby Cockforest fishing loch and there is evidence of otters.
- One turbine sits close to a Right of Way and the whole development runs alongside the drove road which crosses the site, linking up with the 40+km network of way marked paths in Cromar. The network of paths on Pressendye and Pittenderich has recently been linked to Aboyne via the path to Tarland.
- Noise, shadow flicker, direct visual intrusion and danger from falling equipment and ice throw have the potential to interfere with the enjoyment and/or safety of residents and visitors alike enjoying recreational activities such as hill walking, bird watching, hang-gliding, para-gliding, cycling and horse riding.
- Aberdeenshire Council states that wind turbine development will not be permitted within or adjacent to an Area of Landscape Significance where its scale, location or design will detract from the quality or character of the landscape (ALP 2006 Policy Env\5B).
- More than 24 dwellings are within 2km of the turbines which is the separation distance between turbines and dwellings recommended by the Scottish Government in determining detrimental impact.
- This development will destroy the landscape in this narrow valley. The hill will be scarred by two huge turbines, excavations, permanent crane hard standings and 5 metre-wide tracks, an electricity substation and huge, 1,000+ tonne concrete bases which will be left in the ground forever.
- Disruption from construction traffic on local households.
- Spoiling the settings of historic houses and heritage sites, e.g. Cushnie’s Hallhead House, a Grade-A Listed Building, Cromar’s Tomnaverie Stone Circle, a Scheduled Ancient Monument (SAM) at Blackhills under the special protection of the Scottish Government.
- Tourism in the area would be affected. The visual impact and sheer presence of these huge turbines will put people off from visiting Donside, Deeside and the Cairngorms National Park to enjoy views from Muir of Dinnet, Loch Kinord and Morven, and highly accessible local hills such as Pressendye, Craiglich and Pittenderich.
- There would be little or no long-term benefit to the local economy.
- Cumulative visual impact from popular viewpoints with several other wind farms such as Kildrummy, Clashindarroch, Corbanchory, Cairnmore extension, Brunt Hill, Glenkindie and many more. An application is pending for 6 x 377 feet turbines at Coiloichbhar (Tibberchindy) just over 4 miles from Blackhills.
- There are concerns about a viable wind resource. No wind measurements have been taken. The proposed site for this industrial sized wind development is sheltered to the south-west by Pittenderich, to the north-west by Pressendye and to the north-north-east by a ridge known as The Top. Both turbines will be sheltered from the prevailing wind.