Strathy South goes to Public Local Enquiry

???????????????????????????????Strathy South Wind farm was originally proposed by SSE as a 77 turbines (177MW) wind farm up in the Flow Country of Caithness running alongside the now approved and under construction 33 turbine Strathy North Wind Farm. The size has now been reduced to 47 turbines but the capacity only reduced to 150MW. That suggests much larger turbines. SSE really thought they had this in the bag and even posted a full page report on their web site showing how the Planners were advising the NAPC(Northern Applications Planning Committee) to raise no objection to the proposal. Part of this was the proposed improvement of the peat bogs. Now this had been forested and some damage is obvious but no more than surface damage. Where do the planners think they can re-generate peat that takes thousands of years to develop. Go down to Dobbies and buy a few bags? You can’t hide 47,000 tons on concrete and steel bases, let alone the miles of roadways and crane pads, without doing long term damage to such a fragile ecological environment. At Dumnglass, SSE have had to re-site borrow pits because the peat was too deep. Have they not learnt from that experience?

Now unusually both RSPB and SNH have provided a robust objection to this

Caithness Flow Country - Europe's largest carbon sink

Caithness Flow Country – Europe’s largest carbon sink

proposal although the local Community Council had sold their soul for the Community Benefit and supported the proposal. Well, with Strathy North having already ruined the area, I suppose they have a point. SNH comments that this proposal was the most worrying it had ever seen. On Tuesday 10th June, thirty

RSPB protestors against the Strathy South windfarm, pictured outside the Highland Council HQ. Volunteer Shona Rueesch (correct), communications officer Jess Tomes, and intern Rachel Seddon.

RSPB protestors against the Strathy South windfarm, pictured outside the Highland Council HQ.
Volunteer Shona Rueesch, communications officer Jess Tomes, and intern Rachel Seddon.

protesters picketed the Highland Council Planning Committee(NAPC) and it seems the concerns had not fallen on deaf ears. The Committee, against their planners advice, raised an objection, which means that under the rules this must be referred to a Public Local Inquiry. The vote was 12-3 which suggests that the bubble has eventually burst. This is going to cost SSE a packet and unfortunately The Highland Council. Defending PLI’s does not come cheap. With the fact that SSE had offered to reduce the scheme by eight turbines and the power losses down the line, coupled with uncertainty over both ROCs and Independence we can but wonder if SSE might just call it a day?

Scotsman’s story

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About Dougal Quixote

Slightly mad. Always believes a cup is half full so continues to tilt at Wind Turbines and the politicians that seem to believe it is their god given right to ruin Scotland for a pot of fool's gold.
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