Residents at Gravir on Lewis have given the thumbs-down to plans to build a huge sub-sea cable transmission network in their village.
In a poll of opinion, 44 people out of 58 respondents voted against the proposal, returning a 76% majority opposed.
Some 82 villagers who live in the township for at least six months annually were offered ballot papers.
Twenty four people declined to participate with eight residents in favour and six saying they did not know. One of the organisers Emma Mackenzie said: “The most important part is that this was carried out democratically and everybody hadthe opportunity to participate. There is concern locally over what could happen. We intend to now inform the community council, our newly-elected councillor and Western Isles Council of the results of this ballot.”
Villagers only discovered eight weeks ago that the small crofting township is earmarked as landfall for a huge giant interconnector which is required to export the vast output of giant windfarms in the Western Isles to the mainland. A huge convertor station would be constructed on the summit of a hill overlooking the scenic village with the cable running up the sealoch and across crofts. Transmission lines would radiate north to Stornoway and west to Eishken. Two windfarms with more than 100 turbines are also planned to be built in the Lochs area.
The mainland side of the cable is already subject to a public inquiry as it needs an upgrade of the Beauly to Denny line to handle the extra level of electricity.
Energy giant Scottish and Southern (SSE) would build the huge interconnector through its subsidiary company Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission which has responsibility for the national grid in Scotland.
15 May 2007
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