The company behind plans for a five-turbine wind farm outside Dingwall have been put on hold.
ABO Wind UK announced that it has “paused” on the Woodlands Wind Farm proposal and withdrawn the current five-turbine planning application from Highland Council.
The company cited “a number of technical and other issues that could impact on the commercial viability of the site”.
The Mountaineering Council of Scotland (MCofS) objected to the plan in January this year, citing the “completely unacceptable” visual impact on the scenically important area.
MCofS Chief Officer David Gibson said: “We are pleased to learn that ABO have withdrawn this application after the Highland Council stated that it would not be able to support the application due to its visual impact.
“Developers should take note that any future proposals which encroach on Ben Wyvis and its surrounds will be fought by the MCofS, and by other organisations and many individuals throughout Scotland and beyond who believe in the importance of protecting what is now left of Scotland’s fantastic mountain landscapes.”
ABO Wind had set up established a Community Liaison Forum (CLF) from a number of community councils from across the three Highland Council wards of Cromarty Firth, Black Isle and Dingwall & Seaforth.
In September, the companuy concluded community “benefit discussions” with the CLF and signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to confirm the terms of the community benefit package.
It said thiswould deliver £5,000 (index linked) per installed megawatt of capacity annually to be shared by the local community councils of Kiltearn, Dingwall, Ferintosh, Strathpeffer, Maryburgh, Conon Bridge and Resolis.
ABO Wind says it also agreed a local infrastructure fund to offset the impact of any disruption for immediate neighbours during the construction period. The firm declared itself “very pleased” with the level of community engagement which would serve as a model on all projects in Scotland.
Clark Crosbie, Development Project Manager for ABO Wind UK said: “ABO Wind has decided to withdraw the current Woodlands Wind Farm application.
“The feedback we have received from The Highland Council and statutory consultees has indicated a number of technical and other issues that could impact on the commercial viability of the site.
“Therefore we have withdrawn the existing application and will consider our position once we have fully re-assessed the technical and commercial dynamics of the site.
“To date, ABO Wind has enjoyed a positive working relationship with local communities who border the Woodlands Wind Farm site through our Community Liaison Forum (CLF).
“I would like to thank them all for their assistance in securing a community benefit agreement that all parties are happy with and in particular the seven community councils who are located across three council wards who worked together for the benefit of the wider local area. It is a model we are extremely proud of and will be happy to use in future as a case study for other ABO projects.
“We have also been working closely with our landowner partner and the neighbours who live in closest proximity to our site. We are also pleased to that we agreed a local infrastructure fund that offset any impact of the construction period on local neighbours.
“Any future scheme we bring forward will honour in full the agreements we have signed between ABO Wind, the community councils and the local neighbours.”
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