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Reduction of planned turbines in Skye scheme fails to impress  

A developer’s proposal to further reduce the number of giant turbines it intends building on fragile wilderness on Skye has done nothing to appease objectors.

Amec has submitted a revised application for 13 turbines, each 326ft high, for a scheme at Edinbane which was approved last year by Highland councillors but has since been the subject of a judicial review at the Court of Session in Edinburgh. It had initially hoped for 28 turbines.

Protestors argue that the windfarm would kill golden eagles and risk triggering a potentially catastrophic peat slide.

David Hodkinson, managing director of Amec Wind, said: “We want to use the same kind of turbines that are being used in the neighbouring windfarm at Ben Aketil. Instead of generating 1.3MW each, the turbines will generate 2.3MW.

“We are reducing the number from 18 to 13 and that will further reduce any risk of eagle collision.

“This is still a relatively new industry in the UK and we will try to design our windfarms so we can make sure we make no mistakes with it.”

John Hodgson, chairman of the Skye Windfarm Action Group, said: “This action by Amec Wind yet again shows this company’s total disregard for the needs of the Edinbane community. It could have reduced the number of turbines by removing those nearest to this village, as recommended by the planning officer and voted for by the committee in 2002.

“Amec Wind states that its new plans benefit all. The only real beneficiaries will be Amec and the Edinbane landowner.”

Two local community councils representing villages neighbouring the windfarm site have been promised annual payments from Amec to aid community development. Local crofters will also share an annual rental because the site includes part of their common grazing area.

A spokesman for the council’s planning department said that Amec was keen for a quick decision so it would not lose its place in the queue for a grid connection.

He added: “If the application is acceptable to Scottish Natural Heritage, in terms of the risk of collision for birds, then it could be considered in March. The council is of the opinion that all the procedures were carried out correctly. If the Court finds that was not the case, we will learn from that and take it into consideration in future.”

The Press and Journal

30 January 2008

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

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