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Massive wind farm 'turned down'  

Plans to build one of Europe’s biggest wind farms on the Isle of Lewis are to be turned down, BBC Scotland understands.

The BBC’s Gaelic news service, Radio nan Gaidheal, has learned that Scottish Government ministers will refuse permission for the 181 turbine scheme.

More than 5,000 letters of objection to the proposals were received by the Scottish Government.

It is believed environmental concerns are behind the decision.

Campaigners had warned the wind farm would cause “irreversible damage” to one of the country’s most important wetland sites.

Economic benefits

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds also opposed the project, disputing job figures put forward by developers Lewis Wind Power and raising concerns about the farm’s impact on local wildlife.

Supporters of the turbines pointed to potential economic benefits, claiming more than 400 jobs would be created during construction.

Councillors on Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles Council) voted by 18 to eight to support the £500m project in February 2007.

But the final decision on the planning application rested with the Scottish Government.

BBC News

25 January 2008

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