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Revised plans for Skye wind farm

http://news.bbc.co.uk

Plans for a wind farm at Edinbane in the Isle of Skye have been reduced from 27 to 18 turbines.

Engineering group Amec said on Friday it would submit the revised plans to Highland Council.

Amec, which has been pushing for a wind farm on the site for 13 years, said it hoped the proposal would be considered by councillors in October.

Opponents Skye Wind Farm Action Group (Swag) described the location as “supremely ill sited”.

David Hodkinson, managing director of Amec’s wind energy business, said one reason for the re-design was to answer concerns about eagles.

He said extra environmental information had been added to the planning application.

Mr Hodkinson said: “In our view, the submission now addresses all of the bona fide concerns of those consultees.”

‘Ride roughshod’

The Amec boss said he hoped Swag and spokesman John Hodgson will be “big enough” to look again at the scheme and, in his words, accept it had the support of the community and that it was well designed.

He added: “And consider stopping their self-serving attempts to ride roughshod over the wishes of the local community.”

In response, Swag said the site posed a high risk to birds of prey, was close to the tourist-dependent village of Edinbane, could cause noise pollution and be vulnerable to flooding.

Mr Hodgson said he hoped Highland Council would take this on board.

He added: “We consider it most unprofessional for David Hodkinson, managing director of Amec Wind, to use the local press to make remarks about myself and Swag, which have the potential to further exacerbate community division.”

Meanwhile, Moira Macdonald, chairwoman of Skeabost and District Community Council, said the majority of the community supported the development.

She said: “I believe that Amec and the Highland Council has bent over backwards to accommodate the concerns of Swag even though they only represent a small minority within the community.

“I would now hope that Swag can see fit to stop their high profile and vociferous opposition to the wind farm so that the area can start to benefit from the revenues it would bring.”