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Row as inquiry delays windfarm plan 

Hundreds of jobs and massive economic benefits could be threatened by a public inquiry into a giant windfarm on Lewis, it was claimed yesterday.

A final decision concerning the proposed 53-turbine scheme at Eisgein may not be made until 2010 after news that the Scottish Executive wants to fully examine conflicts between its close proximity to a National Scenic Area (NSA) and its potential economic benefits.

The executive has refused to confirm things, saying the “matter is still under consideration”.

Developer Nick Oppenheim said he had received notice in a formal letter from the executive and claimed the inquiry would focus solely on the disadvantages of building adjacent to the NSA against the economic benefits.

Eisgein is one of three massive wind developments which would see a chain of the world’s largest land turbines running the length of the island and along a major tourist route.

It has been claimed the former Labour-led executive baulked from giving Eisgein the go-ahead before the May elections in an unsuccessful attempt to retain the party’s islands’ seat.

Both opponents and advocates of the controversial wind plans have been frustrated by the inquiry decision.

Objector Catriona Campbell said a clean decision to reject the scheme should have been made, emphasising that NSAs “create valuable jobs, particularly in tourism”.

Angus Campbell, vice-convener of Western Isles Council, was “quite confident” an inquiry would ultimately approve the project.

The Press and Journal

30 July 2007

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial educational effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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