A company which plans to build a major Moray windfarm will ask the council to pay the expenses of a public inquiry.
Dutch-run Infinergy hopes to erect 59 turbines, each 410ft high, at Hill of Dorenell, on 5,000 acres of the remote Cabrach area bordering Cairngorms National Park.
They will power nearly 100,000 homes.
A seven-day public inquiry on the proposal concluded this week. Infinergy will ask Moray Council to foot their legal bill, and possibly other expenses connected to the hearing.
Although the local authority is only one of the objectors to the huge development, Infinergy’s legal counsel Gordon Steele said that the company would not be seeking expenses from any others.
Moray Council will have until January 10 to build its case against the claim, which could run into thousands of pounds.
Meanwhile, Esbjorm Wilmar, managing director of Infinergy, said that he thought the inquiry “went very well”, although he was surprised at the low public turnout.
He said: “We believe we were able to make a very strong case to the reporter.”
Mr Wilmar claimed the “low level of public attention” proved that Infinergy’s plans were “not controversial”.
He stressed that the company would offer a “substantial package” of community benefits, including creating woodland walks, visitor centres and setting up a community investment fund of more than £350,000 a year.
Mhari McBean, chairwoman of the Cabrach community association, said that she supported the company’s proposals and their “associated benefits”.
She said: “This will be very good for the Cabrach area. We would be looking to work with Infinergy, as long as they are willing to stick to their guidelines.”
Scottish Natural Heritage and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency are also backing the project. Moray Council objected to the scheme on October 13 last year because the project went against the local plan.
Last night, a spokesman for the authority said that the council was “very satisfied with the course of the inquiry and the range of issues covered”.
He said it was now a “waiting game for all involved”.
A Scottish Government officer said that the inquiry reporter was awaiting closing submissions from parties, to consider alongside all other findings before making a recommendation to ministers.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding