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Planning refused for North Uist turbines

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has been informed that Scottish Ministers have taken a decision to refuse planning permission for two community wind turbines in North Uist, a wind turbine proposed for the Dark Island Hotel on Benbecula and two proposed for Bornish, South Uist.

Comhairle Leader Angus Campbell said: “Given the MOD’s stated position regarding further new turbines in areas visible to radar on the Uists, the decisions are not altogether surprising.

“The delay in the decision making process to get to this point has certainly been frustrating for the developers concerned, the communities affected and indeed for Comhairle Members.

“From today, I seriously hope that we can work with the MOD to identify areas where wind turbine development can be accommodated and continue to investigate the possibilities of mitigation or measures that can allow development of the radar constrained areas for the future.

“I would expect the Scottish Ministers assistance to facilitate these discussions with the MOD”.

Kenneth Murray, Chair of the Comhairle Environment and Protective Services Committee said in response to the news: “The decisions taken by the Scottish Ministers are contrary to the wishes of my Committee. However they are consistent with the advice given by our Planning officials.

“We now have to move on and ensure that we all do what we can to ensure that we do not find ourselves in long protracted planning decisions making processes again.

“We are in the position now that requires affected communities to carefully plan turbine proposals where there is the least constraint, as there seems to be no immediate fix to the impacts of turbines on MOD radars.”