A public consultation has begun into a proposed Aberdeenshire wind farm which would have some of the tallest structures in the UK.

The Hill of Fare development nearly four miles from Banchory could have 17 turbines each coming in at 820ft.

It is thought it would be the second-tallest onshore wind farm in Scotland.

To give an idea of its size, a quick check online reveals that only two buildings in Britain would be bigger.

The biggest is The Shard, coming in at 1,017ft, followed by 22 Bishopsgate, which measures 912ft. Both are in London.

RES, the world's largest independent renewable energy company, says it is in the early stages of exploring a potential wind farm and energy storage proposal, in partnership with Dunecht Estates, at Hill of Fare.

Local exhibitions

The public consultation included local exhibitions held this week.

And anyone wishing to provide feedback to RES on the final design can fill out a comments form at the project website at www.hilloffare-windfarm.co.uk

Closing date for submissions is Friday, November 11.

Gavin Shirley, development project manager at RES, said: "We're keen to engage with the community at an early stage so that people's feedback can be considered in relation to the design work that we will be undertaking over the coming months.

"In addition to people's comments on the proposal itself, we would also like to understand how the wind farm could support local priorities through the delivery of a tailored community benefits package.”

The proposal first became public in August when RES submitted a scoping report to the Scottish Government's energy consents unit seeking feedback from key consultees on the proposed scope of environmental work.

Local investment

If consented, the scheme would be capable of generating enough electricity to meet the annual demand of around 90,000 homes and is predicted to deliver around £4.7million of investment into the area in the form of jobs, employment, and the use of local services.

However, there are some concerns about the project.

Local MP Andrew Bowie has spoken out against the plans as the turbines are "simply too big" and are also located only a few miles away from multiple heritage and cultural sites.

Mr Bowie added: "These turbines will tower above natural landmarks for miles in all directions."

And Energy Voice says an Aberdeenshire resident who has stayed in the same home for 40 years has written a letter of complaint.

Frank Murray of Midmar, north of Banchory, has sent his objections to the scheme to Mr Shirley.

Idyllic place

He described his home as "an idyllic place to live" - however, his south-facing land would look on to RES's proposed wind farm.

Mr Murray has enjoyed the "peace and tranquillity of the surrounding countryside" since his home was built in 1982, but is now worried that this will be ruined if the project comes to fruition.

He said he is not opposed directly to wind turbines, citing the four that are visible from his home, but his concern lies with the impact it may have on the community and wildlife in the area.

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