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Windfarm developer reveals scaled-down plans

Residents are being invited to view scaled-down plans for a Highland windfarm.

Energy developer RES will give people in Fort Augustus, Glenmoriston and Glengarry the chance to view changes it is making to its proposed Culachy turbines scheme.

RES initially wanted to build 25 of the 443ft tall devices on Culachy Estate, between Invergarry and Fort Augustus, above the A82 Inverness-Fort William road.

RES has redesigned and scaled-back the project – reducing the number of turbines from 25 to 13 – after feedback from earlier community consultations.

The changes would mean the masts would not be visible from key areas of interest in Fort Augustus.

A public exhibition will be held on Wednesday from 3pm-8pm in Fort Augustus Village Hall.

Alan Macintyre, RES project manager, said: “We are looking forward to welcoming the community to our second public exhibition and illustrating the changes we have made to the project as a result of comments from the consultation process.

“RES values community involvement, as we believe it plays an important part in shaping the plans for our projects.”

Gerry Worth, a cafe and gift shop owner from Glenmoriston, is concerned that the development could put people off visiting the area.

He said: “Reducing the number of turbines is exactly what I expected would happen. It’s the usual trick that windfarm developers use.

“They reduce the number of turbines, but, as soon as they get planning permission, they will put in an application for an extension. It might not be visible from Fort Augustus now but, when they put in for an extension, it will be visible again.”

RES estimates that the revised proposals for Culachy Wind Farm would still bring more than £3.6million into

the local economy during construction and the first year of operation.

In addition, the community would be able to access a benefits package of £5.5million over the project’s lifetime made up of RES’s local electricity discount scheme (LEDS) and a community benefit fund.