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Opponents hopeful as wind farm inquiry ends  

Credit:  Val Sweeney | The Inverness Courier | www.inverness-courier.co.uk 7 July 2012 ~~

Campaigners against controversial plans for a wind farm above Loch Ness believe they have done all they can to make the strongest possible case against the development.

As the two-week public inquiry into the 23-turbine Druim Ba wind farm between Kiltarlity and Drumnadrochit came to a close, there will now be a wait of several months before a decision is announced by the Scottish government.

In one final attempt to highlight their case, opponents flew a tethered blimp at just under 490ft to demonstrate the height of the turbines as government-appointed reporter Dan Jackman visited the proposed site as well as neighbouring residential properties, Abriachan Forest Trust and Beauly rail station on the inquiry’s last day.

The blimp was flown from Cragganvallie, a property neighbouring the site, although campaigners pointed out it was 131 ft lower in the sky than the highest located turbine.

Mr Jackman will now consider the evidence put forward during the sessions held at Kiltarlity Village Hall, before making his recommendation to ministers “in due course”. Issues discussed included the visual impact, noise, construction and the impact on tourism, the local economy and cultural heritage.

Lyndsey Ward, of the Druim Ba Say No campaign, feels opponents have put up strong arguments against the project proposed by developer Druim Ba Sustainable Energy (DBSE) which wants to “keyhole” the turbines into Blairmore Forest.

As well as the campaign, there was also opposition from the combined Kiltarlity, Inverness West and Kilmorack Community Council, Abriachan Forest Trust and Highland Council.

“I didn’t come away from the inquiry on any one day thinking it had been a bad day,” Mrs Ward said. “I thought everyone was very professional. I feel quite confident, you have to.

“We have done as much as we could have done – I don’t think we will look back and think we should have done more.

“On the face of it, I think we showed this is a really inappropriate place for a wind farm.”

* Buy The Inverness Courier to read more on this story.

Source:  Val Sweeney | The Inverness Courier | www.inverness-courier.co.uk 7 July 2012

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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