By Blair Dingwall

Concerns have been raised that a huge £250million floating windfarm off the
north-east coast could pose a hazard for fishermen.

The Kincardine and Mearns area committee yesterday debated plans for a
marine licence application for the Kincardine Offshore Windfarm.

Councillors raised concerns around local nature conservation sites and the
development’s visual impact during their first debate on the eight-turbine
scheme in June.

Marine Scotland requested “additional comment” from them yesterday.

The developer behind the proposals, Kincardine Offshore Windfarm Limited
(KOWL), provided the committee with an updated environmental statement.

But Mearns councillor George Carr said safety issues should be a factored
into the final decision on the plans for the 577ft turbines, which would be
anchored roughly nine miles from the shore.

The council is a consultee on the project, which is being led by former
deputy first minister Lord Nicol Stephen and Allan MacAskill, and will be
decided upon by Marine Scotland.

Mr Carr said ships going into Aberdeen Bay may be put in danger on a days
of “poor visibility” by the turbines.

He added: “We have got very little say in a lot of this. It would be
interesting to see what a lot of fishermen think about this.

“I was just wondering whether it is sensible to put them in that location.
It is an issue for Marine Scotland I suppose.

“There must be concerns about these aspects. It is a very busy shipping and
fishing area, particularly at that distance offshore there.

“You just need to have a captain like the (Costa) Concordia.”

Council spokesman Stuart Murison said: “On the original environmental
impact assessment that is one of the things that is covered. Fishery boards
and harbour boards have been consulted as well.

“Overall we welcome the additional information and we welcome the clarity
on what has come forward. We maintain our stance of no objection to the
proposals.”

KOWL hopes a decision on the plans will be reached by the end of the year,
with the first turbine at sea by spring in 2018.


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