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Application submitted for Navidale wind farm

An application for a five turbine wind farm at Navidale, north of Helmsdale, has now been submitted to The Highland Council.

The proposed Navidale Wind Farm would be located on an area of moorland on Creag Thoraraidh.

Phil Davidson, who owns Navidale Farm said they had discussed the design and layout with the Highland Council and Scottish Natural Heritage, as well as showing their plans to the neighbours. Discussions also took place with Helmsdale Community Council about the project and possible options for community benefit.

There is now a commitment to pay £33,750 per annum, which would amount to £843,750 over the 25 year period of the wind farm. Discussions will take place with the community council in the coming months as to how any fund would be managed.

“From the outset we were keen to get the views of those in the local community, although it is not normally a part of the process for a project of this limited scale. We therefore held a public exhibition in Helmsdale which was well attended and we also had meetings with the immediate neighbours. It was a good opportunity to let people find out more about the project and learn more about the opportunities which we are planning for the community.”

The proposed development will consist of five wind turbines measuring up to 125m to blade tip.

Phil Davidson moved to the area with his wife Alex, who died last year after a short illness. As Phil explained: “Both Alex and I were passionate about renewable energy and we spent three years looking for a potential site. The wind speeds here are amongst the highest in Europe so it’s a great place to generate clean, green energy.”

The Davidsons had made various plans for Navidale which they had hoped to take forward using the revenue from the wind farm. They had already undertaken extensive restoration of the house and renovated a cottage, both using local craftsman. As Phil explained: We wanted to use the land productively and help create employment in the local area as we realised that providing homes and jobs is vital to keep young people here and help the area thrive.”

Plans for Navidale include the development of a deer farm, goat farm and a farm shop, including an on-line presence, to help crofters and small food producers promote their goods.