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10-turbine wind farm plan unveiled for Daviot  

Credit:  The Inverness Courier, www.inverness-courier.co.uk 2 November 2010 ~~

A wind farm could be built next to the A9 at Daviot on land belonging to a director of a construction firm which collapsed owing millions of pounds earlier this year.

Welsh developer West Coast Energy has unveiled plans for 10 turbines – each 115-metres high – on Beinn a’Bheurlaich, owned by former Highland Quality Construction (HQC) director Gary Macdonald, and on part of nearby Craggie Farm, which is owned by Alan Coutts.

The company said Mr Macdonald, who now runs Daviot Farm, could be involved in the construction of the wind farm if it receives the go-ahead from planners.

An application is expected to be lodged with Highland Council early next year but Daviot residents have already voiced concerns over the plans, claiming they would be “surrounded” as a separate giant 55-turbine wind farm at nearby Moy is also planned, with an application due to be submitted by the end of the year.

Simon Green, project manager for West Coast Energy, said Mr Macdonald’s involvement had been “minimal” so far but acknowledged his construction background could see him involved in building the planned Daviot Wind Farm.

“I see that as a positive. He was a major employer in the area and this could give continuity,” said Mr Green.

“People obviously have concerns about wind farms. Visually, there are certain properties that would sit with a pretty good view of both the Moy and Daviot wind farms. I would highlight that there are a lot of trees and commercial forestry which would screen a lot of the turbines.

“You buy a plot in the Highlands but you don’t buy the view unfortunately.”

Testing at the site has been taking place for four years, Mr Green added.

One local householder, who asked not to be named, criticised the lack of information received from the company.

“There are no contour lines on the map I received and only little purple dots for the turbines,” said the man. “We don’t know what height they are going to be. If permission is given for Moy then the whole area will be surrounded.”

Public exhibitions at Daviot and Strathdearn village halls will take place on 17th and 18th November respectively, between 2pm and 8pm on both days.

HQC was one of the region’s biggest construction companies until it sank into receivership owing £16 million. The Inverness-based firm had a turnover of £20 million and employed 160 people.

Mr Macdonald could not be contacted yesterday.

Source:  The Inverness Courier, www.inverness-courier.co.uk 2 November 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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