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Plans for windfarm are scaled back

Controversial plans for a large north windfarm have been dramatically scaled back, the developer revealed yesterday.

Carbon Free Developments originally planned to build 55 turbines on the Moy Estate, south of Inverness, but last night the company said it will now apply for planning permission for 20 machines. The company claims it means that the impact on Daviot and Craggie will be “significantly reduced” and the closest turbine to Daviot will now more than two miles away. It will generate a maximum of 50MW, rather than 135MW, and its reduction in scale means the planning application will be determined by Highland Council rather than the Scottish Government. Carbon Free managing director Dominic Farrugia said: “The majority of people that contributed to our recent consultation recognised that renewable energy is important and understood why Moy was a good location for a project.

“However there was a desire to see the scheme reduced in scale to lower the impacts on nearby residences and we feel that these changes are needed to address this concern.”

He said the plans were amended in response to emerging planning guidance in respect of the sensitivity of the A9 corridor and the community consultation which highlighted concerns of residents about the proximity of the windfarm to Daviot.

Pat Wells, convener of Strathdearn Against Windfarm Developments, said: “This really shows that public pressure does have an impact.” But she added that she wanted to reserve further judgment until she knows the layout of the development and whether it will have a high visual impact on areas other than the A9 corridor.

Carbon Free said it will contacting people who live closest to the windfarm site to show them revised photo montages, illustrating the visibility of the turbines from their homes.

Updated plans will be available at www.moywindfarm.co.uk and the revisions will be discussed in detail at the next liaison group meeting, which will take place at 7pm on March 7 at Strathdearn Hall, Tomatin.