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Green light for Altnaharra wind farm; Consent for 22 turbine wind farm in central Sutherland

The result of the Judicial Review into Creag Riabhach Wind Farm at Altnaharra was announced today with Lord Boyd of Duncansby ruling to uphold Scottish Ministers’ decision to consent the project.

The wind farm will consist of 22 turbines, with a total generating capacity of 72.6MW, enough to supply around 50,000 homes.

The result of the judicial review comes after Scottish Ministers granted consent in October 2016, on the basis that the project would make an important contribution to climate change targets, while also providing social and economic benefits for the communities in Altnaharra and Sutherland.

It also follows on from the Highland Council’s decision to raise no objection to the application back in September 2015.

The project, which was first submitted to the Scottish Government in January 2014, has been developed by a private company in partnership with the local working estate.

Tim Philpot, director of Creag Riabhach Wind Farm, said: “We welcome the decision today. Over the last five years our dedicated team has been continually engaging with the local communities, the Highland Council and Scottish Ministers to deliver a project that we can all be proud of.

“We now look forward to delivering a successful project that will not only generate up to 72.6MW of clean, renewable energy, but will also give the communities of the North Highlands region a lasting legacy benefit.”

Pieter Bakker, estate manager and tenant farmer at Altnaharra Estate, said: “Creag Riabhach Wind Farm will help secure additional jobs for local people, while also supplying important work opportunities for local contractors.

“My community and the other communities surrounding the estate will significantly benefit from this project, which will provide up to £9 million in inward investment through the community benefit funds, which will be used to support important local projects.

“The economy in Sutherland is fragile and in desperate need of investment, in particular in Altnaharra. We can now take this opportunity to create a sustainable legacy for future generations in the area.”