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Islanders furious as huge section of wind turbine is ‘dumped’ on beach

Angry islanders have accused a landowner of dumping a huge section of a wind turbine on their beach.

Neil Smith – who has permission to build a 252ft turbine on Coll – first sparked fury in May after using landing barges to bring in construction equipment at Gallanach beach.

Residents watched in horror as rock pecker machines were driven across the pristine white sand and began channelling a route through the cliff face.

Argyll and Bute Council got an interim interdict to halt the works at Gallanach Farm, near the beach, in May.

But now locals are furious that the first section of the wind turbine has been left on the beach for a week.

Colin Kennedy, 55, a member of Coll’s liaison committee established to tackle any problems with the project, said: “People are hounding the council every day but we feel they have helped the developer ride roughshod over us.

“They have not enforced the conditions attached to the permission, which raises questions over its validity. The council are showing total disregard to residents who have to live with this.

“The beach is a mess. The tower section was delivered by landing craft and is seemingly stuck there.”

More than 100 of the island’s 137 inhabitants signed a petition against the 750kw wind turbine, although the community council remained neutral.

There are already a dozen smaller turbines on Coll. Locals say the latest – almost as tall as 341ft Ben Hogh, the island’s highest point – will dominate the landscape.

Mr Smith, director of Gallanach Green Generation Limited, could not be contacted for a response.

A council spokesman said officers had been aware of the alleged unauthorised works earlier this year, but the situation had been moved on in a “positive way”.

He said: “They (council officers) visited the site at the earliest possibly opportunity and took the necessary steps the serving of an interdict to ensure the work was halted.

“This interdict has now been lifted by the sheriff following a hearing in Oban but has served its purpose, giving the developer and the council the opportunity to begin negotiations on a positive way forward.”