Developers yesterday made a final plea to the Scottish Government to construct the biggest wind farm in Europe in the Western Isles.
Lewis Wind Power (LWP) wants to build 176 turbines in Lewis, but ministers have indicated they are “minded to refuse” the project.
The company was given until 5pm last night to make its case that the project can go ahead without harming the environment. The Scottish Government has not indicated when a final decision will be made on the £500 million project.
Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles Council) has backed the scheme, arguing it will create hundreds of jobs during construction as well as millions of pounds in community benefit.
However, the plans have attracted over 10,000 objections and been attacked by conservation bodies including the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. It says the wind farm would destroy a huge area of the North Lewis Peatlands Special Protection Area and go against European habitats directives to protect wildlife.
Officials from LWP, a partnership of British Energy and Amec, met ministers this week to discuss plans ahead of submitting its reply to the government. The company said it hoped the information it was providing would convince ministers the project could deliver in terms of economic impact and the fight against climate change.
A spokesman said yesterday: “We have submitted our response to the government, but cannot discuss the exact contents of the letter.”
By John Ross
16 February 2008
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