A controversial giant windfarm plan for Lewis was approved yesterday by Western Isles councillors for a third time, but with an eight-day period remaining for public objections.
The environmental services committee reaffirmed support for a reduced Beinn Mhor scheme at Eishken.
The proposed £120million project was previously reduced from 80 to 53 turbines, signalling a proportionate cut in community reward.
The developers have pledged a community payout of around £800,000 a year for 25 years. Current proposals for six massive turbines will depend on the laying of a massive under-sea cable.
Developer Nick Oppenheim of Beinn Mhor Power submitted fresh environmental information and a draft of a planning agreement which includes agreement to remove the turbines, establish a decommissioning bond in advance, purchase at least 75% – or £90m – of supplies locally and pay community benefit.
He claims around 95 construction jobs would be created while more than 40 jobs would be secured for two years at the island’s troubled Arnish fabrication yard if the towers were produced there.
More than 130 villagers in Kinloch have objected against the windfarm, with just 21 in favour. Mr Oppenheim, who witnessed the committee’s deliberations, said: “This is another step along the way, but it is impossible to know when the Scottish Executive will determine the outcome and building work cannot proceed until we know about the inter-connector.”
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