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No decision yet over contentious Argyll windfarm development  

A decision over a controversial windfarm application which has attracted more than 600 letters of objection is unlikely to be made until early next year.

An informal hearing into Eurus Energy UK Ltd’s proposal to erect a seven-turbine windfarm at Largie, near Tayinloan, in Kintyre, Argyll, was adjourned yesterday. Members of Argyll and Bute Council’s Mid Argyll, Kintyre and Islay area committee had heard hours of evidence from the applicant, objectors, supporters and consultees at the hearing in Tarbert Village Hall.

But on the advice of officials the committee agreed to delay making a decision until after new information, put forward by the applicant, could be advertised under public consultation procedures.

The information relates to the perceived impact of the windfarm on protected Greenland white-fronted geese and other birds and wildlife.

A previous application for a windfarm on the site was refused by the Government in 1998, on the grounds that geese would be endangered.

And although the new application has been scaled down, to include only seven turbines, there are still differences of opinion over what impact the present plan would have on the geese.

The applicant claims the potential loss of geese due to turbine collision risk would be as low as two a year.

However, Scottish Natural Heritage and the RSPB, who object to the plan, fear it could be nearer 100 geese a year.

The site is close to a Special Protection Area and planning officer Richard Kerr has recommended that the application should be refused primarily on grounds of visual impact and the impact on geese and other species.

An ArgyllWindFarms representative spoke against the plan for the group and on behalf of many other objectors, including the Ramblers Association.

The group believes that the high level of objections reflects the strength of feeling against the proposal to site wind turbines in such a sensitive location. A past plan for the site proposed 19 turbines but this has been scaled down to seven, a number which the applicant does not believe would result in any significant adverse impact on birdlife, or the local environment.

Charles Reppke, the council’s head of democratic services and governance, advised councillors that new information from the applicant, about perceived impact levels, must be advertised to allow public comment.

And Mr Reppke said last night that the public consultation timescale meant that a decision would not be made before December and was unlikely to be announced until early next year.


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