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Revised windfarm plans kept under wraps by developers  

Credit:  By Nichola Rutherford, The Press and Journal, www.pressandjournal.co.uk 25 January 2011 ~~

A revised design for a planned Inverness-shire windfarm will be unveiled in a series of public exhibitions next month – but until then the developers are keeping the changes under wraps.

Alterations have been made to the plans for the Druim Ba facility, between Kiltarlity and Abriachan, following a series of consultations with local communities last year.

At those meetings, residents were told that a maximum of 28 turbines, about 492ft (150m), could be built in the Druim Ba forest, part of the Blairmore estate.

But Druim Ba Sustainable Energy always insisted that the plans were not the final design, and their new plans will be unveiled at exhibitions beginning on February 8.

Company director Donald Ross said: “We have listened to the views of the local community and have revised our design. We hope we will have addressed many of the issues raised.”

He added: “It has been hard at times to get across the message that the first exhibitions were not the final design, but a draft which could be altered.

“Hopefully, when people see the new layout they will appreciate that there have been quite significant changes to a number of aspects, in response to feedback.”

He said that exhibition would outline a new layout, which has taken account of the comments of the local community, as well as the findings of studies carried out as part of the environmental impact assessment.

But Denise Davis, of Ardblair, near Kiltarlity, who is leading a campaign against the turbines, said there was little they could do to appease her, save for scrapping the plans altogether.

The group claims the proposed development is too close to houses – about 35 homes are within a mile of the site – and it is just half-a-mile from the Great Glen Way.

Ms Davis said: “As far as our research concluded, it makes it the most invasive windfarm in Britain because of the size of the turbines and how close they are to people’s homes.” She said the Glenconvinth area, where they plan to site the turbines, has been designated by Highland Council as a place suitable for medium-size windfarms – up to seven turbines, and up to 246ft.

Following the meetings, a newsletter containing details of the new design will be distributed in the local communities.

Comments on the proposal can also be made via the Druim Ba website on www.druimbasustainableenergy.com or by phoning 01463 230450.

The exhibitions will be held in Kiltarlity Hall on February 8, Abriachan Hall on February 9 and the Church of Scotland Hall, Croyard Road, Beauly, on February 10. All exhibitions will run from 2pm to 8pm.

Source:  By Nichola Rutherford, The Press and Journal, www.pressandjournal.co.uk 25 January 2011

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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