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Highland communities face being ‘devastated’ by ‘enormous’ new wind farm development  

Credit:  Campaigners No Ring of Steel will now have to battle to stop a 11-turbine wind farm being built in Strath Oykel after successfully fighting off an application for one in Rosehall. | By David Walker, Journalist | Scottish Daily Express | 22 JUL 2022 | www.scottishdailyexpress.co.uk ~~

Communities in the Highlands face being “devastated” due to new plans lodged by a wind farm developer to create 11 new “enormous” turbines.

Campaigners in the region have just successfully fought off one controversial development but now face another even bigger battle.

EnergieKontor want to build a wind farm at Strath Oykel which will have 200m turbines constructed and a generating capacity in excess of 50MW. This will be considered by Scottish Government ministers.

No Ring of Steel (NoROS) already helped to persuade local councillors that the eight-turbine Meall Buidhe was the wrong development for the area near the village of Rosehall which is about 50 miles north of Inverness. Council officials had previously recommended it.

They are now fighting back against the second application which they believe would encircle the Strath Oykel community and devastate local residents’ day-to-day lives.

NoROS also say there is a very real risk that it would cause huge damage to tourism, scenery, wildlife and the pristine quality of local rivers which are renowned across the world for fresh-water fishing.

Ashley Smith, spokesman for No Ring of Steel, said: “This part of the Highlands is at saturation point with onshore wind farms. There is a place for renewable energy, but there comes a point when we have to say enough is enough.

“With two operational wind farms totalling 38 turbines, another with consent for 27 turbines and two other applications awaiting a decision our village cannot take anymore.

“We fought hard to persuade the council to reject the application for Meall Buidhe and they listened. But now we have to do the same with the Scottish Government on this latest unacceptable application.

“These turbines would be 200 metres high, which is significantly higher than any building in Scotland, and they would have devastating consequences.

“They would spoil the landscape, wreak havoc on a local economy which is heavily dependent on tourism, and completely change the landscape of one of the most uniquely scenic areas in the world.

The Highlands already generates the most onshore wind in Scotland with 4036 gigawatt hours in 2020, with a further 1579 MW of projects in the planning pipeline, leaving the region at “saturation point.”

Nearby the new proposed development is the 19-turbine Achany wind farm and the 19-turbine Rosehall wind farm. Permission has also been granted to 27 turbines at Braemore, and a 14-turbine project at Braelangwell is also being scoped out.

Mr Smith added: “These turbines will be just 1.5km from the nearest properties and will blight residents’ lives. The developers even admit in their application that there will be significant effects on these residents from shadow flicker and the cumulative noise affect.

“What’s more, there would be an adverse impact on wildlife and the construction would risk real damage to our rivers which are revered across the UK for the quality of fishing and are home to the critically endangered fresh water mussels.

“None of this is worth any of the benefits the developers claim this project would bring. This part of the Highlands is more than playing its part with renewable energy, and it’s time for the decision-makers to come up with something else.

“We may have seen off the latest controversial bid for an unpopular wind farm, but it’s difficult for small communities to continue to replicate these David and Goliath stories.

“Due to the time, effort and costs, the fear is large developers will eventually just wear us down.”

Source:  Campaigners No Ring of Steel will now have to battle to stop a 11-turbine wind farm being built in Strath Oykel after successfully fighting off an application for one in Rosehall. | By David Walker, Journalist | Scottish Daily Express | 22 JUL 2022 | www.scottishdailyexpress.co.uk

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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