Reay residents have turned out in force to voice their fears that their village will end up encircled by “a ring of steel”.
They were appearing at the public session at the end of a public local inquiry into plans for two wind farms involving a total of 38 turbines, each between 125 and 140 metres high.
More than 80 people packed the village hall which followed six days of evidence given at the hearing in Caithness Horizons in Thurso.
Objections ranged from the impact the developments at Limekiln and Drum Hollistan would have on the landscape, rare birds and property values to noise, shadow flicker and their perceived deterrent effect on tourism, and in particular the North Coast 500.
According to Reay Area Wind Farm Opposition Group, Caithness is already at saturation point with turbines.
Resident David Craig said the Limekiln turbines are significantly larger than any others in the area.
He said: “We are already feeling surrounded by turbines – and we are not unique in that across the country – the ‘ring of steel’ has been reported elsewhere.
“The views of the Reay community are quite clear – we do not want
Nature lover Eric Maughan said both wind farm sites border the East Halladale Flows area, large parts of which are designated as a Special Protection Area due to their internationally important bird populations.
He said: “We should never allow what will be amongst the largest wind turbines to be built anywhere in Scotland to be planted in this most picturesque of landscapes.”
The inquiry closed on Wednesday with site visits with Scottish Government reporters Andrew Fleming and Christopher Warren to submit their recommendations to Scottish Ministers in due course.
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