Objectors to a major wind farm plan say developers have exaggerated its green benefits and failed to carry out proper studies on the impact it will have.
British-Dutch developer Infinergy/LZN plans to build 22 turbines, up to 410ft high, on the Lochluichart Estate, near Garve in Wester Ross.
Among the objectors to the £53 million plan are 16 neighbouring estates, which say it would harm tourism and affect bird populations.
Experts commissioned by the Stop Lochluichart Wind Farm campaigners say the developer’s environmental statement supporting the proposal has exaggerated carbon-saving benefits by up to 150 per cent, failed to provide critical wind-speed data, published potentially misleading figures on electricity output and carried out inadequate rare bird surveys.
The developer said the wind farm could account for 0.8-1.4 per cent of the UK’s 2010 carbon reduction target. But according to Dr John Constable, of the Renewable Energy Foundation, the true figure is 0.5 per cent.
The developer claims the wind farm output would power 36,900 homes, but campaigners say it is closer to 9,400.
LZN’s bird survey has been criticised by the ornithologists Roy Dennis and Colin Crooke, who say observations fell 250 hours short of the minimum of 504 required by Scottish Natural Heritage.
Yesterday Charles Sandham, Infinergy’s chief executive, said: “This is a typical objectors’ rant and rave. Are they trying to say that global warming is not happening?”
By John Ross
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