Highland councillors will today debate controversial plans to construct the world’s largest offshore wind farm off the Scottish coast.
The £4.5billion project would see up to 339 turbines, some reaching 670ft above sea level, in the Moray Firth, covering a total of 114 square miles east of Caithness.
Anti-windfarm campaigners claim the project proposed by Moray Offshore Renewables Ltd (Morl) – made up of a consortium of energy firms – would destroy marine wildlife and be ‘a blot on the landscape’.
But planning officials are recommending in a report to Highland Council’s North Planning Applications Committee to “raise no objection”.
The developers say the project could create hundreds of jobs and provide electricity for a million homes.
It would also be a major boost to the Scottish Government’s target of generating 100 per cent of the country’s demand from renewables by the end of the decade.
The council is a consultee, with final consent for the development controlled by the Scottish Government regulator Marine Scotland.
Unlike onshore developments, if the council decides not to support the development, there would be no automatic Public Local Inquiry.
Objectors to the development, 12 miles off the coast near to the Beatrice oil field, claim it will not only impact on the views, but there is local concern about birds, Atlantic salmon, and scallop and squid fishing.
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