The opening session of the Merranbo turbine public inquiry, on Monday, began with two surprise announcements – that Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) nor the Stromness Community Development Trust (SCDT) would be participating.
SNH withdrew its objection to the development, after liasing with the applicants, Major Malcolm Macrae and Scotrenewables, and coming to an agreement over the planned route to be used during the construction. The inquiry heard that SNH now felt that the integrity of the Stromness Heaths and Coasts Special Area of Conservation would not be adversely affected.
Meanwhile, the SCDT chairman, Dr John Brown, informed the inquiry that following “extensive negotiations” with the applicants over the weekend, the trust is satisfied that the applicants were committed to community benefit. As such, he said, the trust was withdrawing its objection.
The inquiry continues.
22 January 2008
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