The landscape character of this newly extended corridor is completely rural and is one of extensive wide-open agricultural views against the main backdrop of the rugged tors of Bennachie to the north. The main viewpoints over all this area are to the hills to the north and west including the iconic and popular Bennachie range, Cairn William and Corrennie Moor. At one end of this new corridor the distinctive gap of Tillyfourie, a glacial overflow channel, stands out across the mainly flattish terrane at Monymusk, past Craigearn and Leschangie to the col at Lauchentilly more than 10km away near to the other end. You can clearly see end to end of this new corridor.
The landscape between is currently largely unspoiled by obtrusive or discordant features with the exception of two recently erected 45m high wind turbines at Greenmoss at Lauchentilly. In this open and flattish landscape 50m towers could not generally be masked by folds of the hills or forests. This area is not an open valley (see Holford Rule #5) and has open mosses and gentle topography which overall slope gently to the south throughout. You will see from the map that the River Don, which flows beside Kemnay and Monymusk House, thereafter takes an entirely different direction from the new corridor which is not in a wide open valley.
50m high pylons in the area will have an undesirable cumulative impact not only on the landscape but also on the visual amenity of Castle Fraser to the detriment of tourism, the local economy and recreation (see Holford Rule #2).
Wherever the actual line route through this area, the proposed development would be highly visible from Bennachie, an iconic location popular with walkers, cyclists, artists, historians and visitors observing the huge variety of wildlife and botany in this Special Landscape Area. The proposed corridor overlaps with the area currently designated within this SLA (see Holford Rule #1).
Construction of 50m high pylons in this location would be detrimental to the character and high degree of amenity of the settlements of Tillyfourie, Balvack, Monymusk, Craigearn, Kemnay and Leschangie (West and East) and also of the individual residential properties located widely throughout the surrounding area.
The proposal would specifically adversely affect the amenity of recreational activities on Cairn William, Balvack Woods and Leschangie Woods which are used for walking, running and cycling.
The revised northern boundary crosses Kemnay Golf Club, which is a prestigious Scottish golf course (see Holford Rule #2). If the proposed pylons traverse through or close to Kemnay Golf Club, they will have a significant adverse effect on local amenity, tourism and recreation interests, which would also be detrimental to the local economy.
The proposal could have an adverse impact on the development of a Core Path from Kemnay to Castle Fraser, which Kemnay Community Council is presently exploring (see Holford Rule #2).
Ballooning – which Virgin operated until recently from Castle Fraser – would be adversely impacted since the prevailing wind takes balloons over this area, leading to sterilization of future business developments
Such a development in this location would have the potential to be experienced as dominant or overbearing in relation to the area’s scale of topography and the intrinsic sensitivity of the location.
Both within and next to this corridor there are impressive standing stones at the Lang Stane o’Craigearn, at Woodend and also stones and a circle with recumbent at Backhill. This represents a high density of antiquities in a small area which all provide a sense of place associated with the designated Special Landscape Area of Bennachie
An existing 10m high three-conductor powerline extends for more than 7km westward along this corridor from Ley Lodge electricity substation, past Leschangie and south of Craigearn. Erection of a new much larger overhead powerline near this existing line and converging on Ley Ledge would risk creating a “wirescape” (contrary to Holford Rule #6).
Many small property owners have shelter belts for the winds crossing large expanses of open flattish ground in this corridor – these would need to be cleared in a swathe at least 60m wide below such a line to the severe detriment of the amenity of these properties.