Members of Halkirk District Community Council have voted against the proposed wind farm at Spittal Hill and agreed that a leaflet should be prepared setting out some of the issues surrounding the £83 million venture.
The 30-turbine scheme planned by Spittal Hill Windfarm Ltd, a company set up by brothers Tom and Steven Pottinger, was discussed at the community council’s latest meeting. It was agreed by 4-2 that a letter should be sent to the Scottish Executive opposing the application on the grounds of close proximity to inhabited residences; potential noise problems; and cumulative effect.
Stuart Mills also said it should be pointed out in the letter that Spittal Hill was a “non-preferred” area according to the Highland Council’s renewable energy strategy document.
Community councillors also felt it was important that people made representations on whether they were “for” or “against” the wind farm. It was decided that a leaflet should be prepared giving information on issues such as where to send letters and where the environmental statements could be viewed (the HDCC copy was to be placed in Halkirk Post Office).
Members were asked to make residents in their respective areas aware via the leaflet, while posters would be placed in Halkirk village.
The Executive will have the final say on whether the development goes ahead.
Community councillors also expressed concern about the perceived speeding of lorries on Bridge Street, Halkirk. Sgt Ian Graham of Northern Constabulary said that lorries had not been speeding when speed checks had been carried out but it would be borne in mind by officers.
The meeting was told that police have now begun a new phase of liaison with all schools in the Thurso area and each school, including Halkirk, has a dedicated liaison officer to arrange talks and visits. One visit has already been undertaken to the Halkirk rising-fives group.
A letter from Scotland TranServ indicated that there was no requirement for “speed reminding” signs at Spittal as a survey carried out during February had shown that the average speed was 50 mph (based on 7000 vehicles).
TranServ did not think there was justification for a permanent speed-activated sign but would site a mobile speed-activated sign on a temporary basis if the community council wished. This was agreed and the secretary was asked to confirm this request.
Members were pleased to hear that the Highland Council was continuing with funding towards the village officer post for another year and were delighted to note that Halkirk Village Council was also supporting the scheme again by way of a £1000 contribution.
* At the start of the meeting the chairman, William Manson, welcomed the newly-elected councillors for the Landward Caithness multi-member ward of the Highland Council, as well as Charlie Miller and Susan Munro, representing Halkirk Highland Games committee and Halkirk Rifle Club respectively.
22 June 2007
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