The row over plans to build the world’s biggest onshore wind farm on Lewis intensified yesterday as a leading wildlife group claimed the job boost predictions made by the developer were “misleading and hugely optimistic”.
The accusations were levelled against the Lewis Wind Power (LWP) scheme by RSPB Scotland, which has been campaigning to stop the massive renewable energy scheme from going ahead.
LWP claims up to 233 posts will be created directly and indirectly once the 181 wind-turbine scheme is operational. But the RSPB yesterday asserted that “at best” the scheme will support only 70 jobs.
A spokesman for the charity said an assessment by DTZ Consulting, commissioned by RSPB, had revealed “serious flaws” in the developer’s claims of the economic benefits.
Stephen Lucas, director of economics at DTZ, said: “The development will support at best around 70 jobs in the Western Isles and even this ignores the potentially considerable harmful effects of the development on the isles’ tourism economy.”
Last night Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, the Western isles Council, said it would challenge RSPB Scotland and DTZ to provide evidence of why their findings were “so at odds” with those of other economic experts.
By Frank Urquhart
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