United Kingdom

United Kingdom

EOWDC partners appeal Blackdog refusal

UK: Partners behind the 100MW European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC) are appealing against Aberdeenshire Council Formartine area committee's decision to refuse construction consent for the onshore substation at Blackdog.

Aberdeen Bay, the site of the project
Aberdeen Bay, the site of the project

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Vattenfall and Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group, shareholders in Aberdeen Offshore Wind Farm (AOWF), the company behind the 11-turbine project near Donald Trump’s golf course, are appealing to the Scottish government’s Directorate for Planning and Environmental Appeals.

The £230 million (EUR 275m) project received Scottish government approval in March but it has long been opposed by US businessman, Donald Trump.

In October, the council’s Formartine area voted nine against one for the application. Trump wrote on Twitter: "Great victory for people of Blackdog, Scotland. They defeated substation, stopping inefficient & ugly wind turbines."

The grounds for appeal are on the basis that the proposal is consistent with local planning policy and that the health risks associated with asbestos found on the site are very low.

As part of the appeal AOWF organised an independent asbestos risk assessment of the development.

They also undertook an environmental impact assessment (EIA), which was submitted to Aberdeenshire Council in August.

The independent asbestos risk assessment and the EIA conclude the risk from asbestos to health in this case is very low and the proposed development would not compromise health and safety as appropriate construction control measures and planning conditions would be implemented.

Andy Paine, Vattenfall UK’s head of offshore wind development, said that finding low-level quantities of asbestos was not unusual on brown field sites.

He added: "AOWF is committed to improving this area of ground if consent is granted for the onshore works in order to render it safer and of a higher quality than what currently exists."

In December, AOWF announced the project will be delayed by two years until 2017. The group said the legal challenges surrounding the project had an influence on the decision to postpone.

Trump legally challenged the development in December during a four-day hearing at the Court of Session, Scotland's supreme civil court, in Edinburgh. He petitioned the court for a judicial review of the Scottish government’s approval of the project, which is due to make its ruling early this year.

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