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Row over beauty spot turbines plan  

Credit:  By Ken Jones, The Press and Journal, www.pressandjournal.co.uk 21 August 2010 ~~

More than 60 representations have been lodged with Highland planners over proposals for the erection of three turbines on a privately-owned beauty spot.

But the council may have to waive its usual planning procedures and timetable so it can consider the application, after complaints that few people were aware of the scheme.

Julie Bryce, who owns Sunnyside Croft at Bunacaimb, between Arisaig and Morar, wants to erect the 50ft wind turbines with 30ft blades on a hill alongside the scenic B8008 road.

They would provide power for the bed-and-breakfast business, campsite and a holiday lodge, but people in the area says the towers would be intrusive and could pose a danger to birds and bats.

The application was lodged on May 4 and it was expected that the proposal would be considered solely by officials, using their delegated powers.

And, in light of the proposed turbines being on private land, there was no need to advertise the application nor carry out “good neighbour” notification as none lived within the prescribed limits.

The weekly list of planning applications was distributed on May 21 with representations due to be lodged no later than June 2 for them to be considered .

But, by the time the monthly community newspaper published the application it was June 10, and June 28 before the local community council debated the issue.

“By the time people became aware of the application, the date for making representations was long past,” said one opponent.

In the meantime, more than 60 locals and visitors have signed a petition or lodged objections with the council’s online e-planning site opposing the turbines.

Because of the volume of objections, it is understood that the application will be decided by councillors, not officials, and that the representations will be taken into account.

John MacDonald, who raised the petition, said: “The general consensus is that the community is not against windfarm installations. However, they are opposed to the positioning of it.”

Ms Bryce has declined to comment.

Source:  By Ken Jones, The Press and Journal, www.pressandjournal.co.uk 21 August 2010

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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