Renowned family business contacts North East MSP amid concerns over UK’s tallest wind farm next to headquarters

Alex Hill of Fare

A renowned North East family business has warned it risks being cut off from power amid towering proposals to build the UK’s tallest wind farm next to its headquarters.

McIntosh Plant Hire has contacted Aberdeenshire West MSP Alexander Burnett for help over fears that plans to create 16 turbines, measuring up to 656ft, at Hill of Fare near Banchory, will lead to the loss of its telecommunications systems at Meikle Tap servicing its Echt base.

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It comes as more than 100 letters objecting to the proposals have now been submitted to the Scottish Government.

The company said the pylons would be “extremely damaging” to the business and issues have “not been addressed or clarified” from the applicant Res ahead of a decision being made by the Scottish Government’s Energy Consents Unit.

Scottish Conservative MSP Mr Burnett has written to the Energy Consents Unit calling on the concerns of McIntosh Plant Hire to be taken into account before any decision is made on the proposals.

He said: “Renowned businesses such as McIntosh Plant Hire, which have been in existence for almost 50 years, are fearful of the damage this monstrosity of a development will cause to their operations.

“They, like many others, feel they haven’t been listened to throughout the consultation process and as a result, the environmental impact assessment has failed to address their concerns.

“The high number of objections sends a clear message that communities are overwhelmingly opposed to the Hill of Fare wind farm proposal which risks setting a planning precedent that would lead to the decimation of Royal Deeside and the wider North East region.”

McIntosh Plant Hire said: “The proposals for the windfarm must give due consideration to existing businesses in the area (including ours) and the impact on them by any new turbines.

“Without firm assurances that the turbines will not affect the existing telecommunications systems for the Birchmoss site, there is a real danger that our long standing, existing business will be adversely affected.

“Any permanent impact on the business by any proposed new turbine would be extremely damaging.”

In response to Mr Burnett’s letter, the Scottish Government said: “As with all such decisions, Scottish ministers carefully weigh the impacts of the proposed development against the economic and renewable energy benefits which would be realised in the context of national and local policies.

“The decision whether to grant consent is taken only after careful consideration of environmental information, consultee responses and public representations.

“Given that this application is currently under consideration, it would not be appropriate at this stage for the Scottish ministers to take any views or comment any further on its acceptability or otherwise.”

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