‘People more important’ – Highland vetoes plan for giant wind turbines
Highland Council has objected to a Sutherland wind farm application that attracted 168 complaints from the public.
Members lined up to raise their concerns – with not a single councillor supporting the project.
Renewables firm Energiekontor is applying to the Scottish Government to put up 11 turbines in Strath Oykel.
Highland was invited to comment on the proposal and planning officials recommended raising no objection.
However, councillors received a deluge of objections from the community and told north planning committee: “We must listen.”
They unanimously agreed with Michael Baird and Margaret Paterson to object to the Strath Oykel wind farm plan.
Ms Paterson told the committee people had a sense of “here we go again” as yet another wind farm was proposed. She said the beautiful area was fast becoming an industrial site.
“People are more important than the companies who want to make money,” said Ms Paterson. “These are people’s beloved homes.”
She added that 168 people had objected to the plans and highlighted their “deep distress”.
While Mr Baird welcomed the positive contribution of renewables in addressing climate change, he said the application was contrary to section 67 of the Highland-wide local development plan. It would have a detrimental impact on the area, and “the https://matermea.com/ivermectin/ perceived encirclement of communities in Strath Oykel”.
Sutherland councillor Richard Gale said: “These turbines are 200 metres (656ft) in height. Blackpool Tower is 158m tall and here we have 11 of them, in some cases less than 1,500m (1,640 yards) from residential properties. We cannot do that.”
Mr Gale raised the negative impact on people’s health: “Imagine 35 years of constant noise and flicker on your body, household and community. That is huge.”
Former north planning chairwoman Maxine Smith said in her 15 years with the committee, she had never seen so many objections to a single application.