CLAIMS that German tourists are “highly sensitised” to wind turbines helped quash an application near one of Scotland’s most haunted homes.
The 14th Century Angus castle at Ethie Barns near Arbroath became the subject of a heated debate when a planning application for a nearby wind turbine was submitted.
It was proposed that the 46-metre high structure would be built to the north-west of the Category A haunted castle’s boundary walls.
But incensed locals managed to turn the application on its head – by submitting objections on the grounds of ruining the scenery, reduced housing prices and angry German visitors.
Iain Macnab, who runs a tour company in the area, submitted his concerns about German tourists to Angus Council.
He wrote: “My company sends numerous German tourists to the castle each year.
“German tourists are now highly sensitised to wind turbines. They always use Google satellite views before choosing, and would immediately see wind turbines near the castle.
“They always refer to TripAdvisor, whose commentators would immediately mention any nearby wind turbines.
“Therefore, any further wind turbine would be highly detrimental to the value of the castle as a holiday and recreation destination.”
Other objections from locals included those from Dennis Grady, who said: “There are already too many wind turbines in Angus making life intolerable for local residents.”
Michael Bowe included “infrasound noise”, “pulse charge” and an “amplitude modulation disco effect” to his list of reasons not to allow the application to go through.
After years of consultation, planners refused the application from Panlathy Farming Co over concerns that the turbine would have a negative effect on the castle, and that visitors would stop coming to the area.
The final decision reads: “The reasons for the Council’s decision are that the proposed wind turbine development would result in unacceptable adverse landscape impacts, unacceptable adverse visual impacts and would give rise to adverse impacts on the Category A Listed Ethie Castle.”
The castle, which is Scotland’s second oldest permanently inhabited residence, is said to be haunted by murdered Cardinal David Beaton.
Rumour has it that Beaton, who had a reputation for the savage persecution of Protestants in the 16th Century, was killed by nobles who hung his body out of a window.
According to legend, the ghost of the cardinal can still be heard at night as he parades around Ethie, hindered by his gouty leg which makes a thumping sound as he drags it behind him.
Guests at Ethie have also reported hearing cries of a child at night, followed by the sound of a wheeled toy being pulled across the floor.