A wind farm planned for a hillside near Huntly could bring £1.6million into the local community

The company’s senior planning and development manager, Samantha Crosby, said yesterday: “It is important that everyone who may potentially be affected by the proposed wind farm should have an opportunity to find out the facts and understand the project, in particular the significant benefits it could bring to the local community.”

She said the company would like to hear from anyone who was unable to attend the open display and discussion at Huntly.

West Coast Energy has confirmed that if the wind turbines were given planning permission on the site north of Huntly, between Cairnie and Drummuir, a community benefit fund of £3,000 per megawatt of electricity generated would be provided.

That could equate to £67,500 a year. Local community councils as well as Aberdeenshire Council would be consulted over the setting up of the fund, and it would be up to local people to decide how the cash was used.

“Once a formal planning application is submitted to the local authority, people will also have an opportunity to make their comments to the project to planners.”

The 360ft wind turbines would generate around 22.5MW of electricity, which is calculated as enough to provide wind power to nearly 13,000 homes.

Last week, Marr area councillors meeting at Huntly deferred a decision on a proposed 18-turbine wind farm between Huntly and Rhynie.

Swedish energy firm Vattenfall wants permission to build the 360ft wind turbines at Clashindarroch Forest.

Councillors deferred a decision for further information about the possible removal of three of the masts from the ridge of a hill.