August 27, 2022

‘There will be no hiding from it ‘: Loth Residents launch funding appeal to meet costs of arguing case against planned Kintradwell Wind Farm at Brora public inquiry in November

By Caroline McMorran | The Northern Times | 26 August 2022 |

A campaign group is making a direct appeal to local residents for funding to fight a planned wind farm that it says would “overshadow” Brora and adversely affect the wider area.

Loth Residents are seeking to raise £6000 to pay for help from experts to present their case against Kintradwell Wind Farm at a public inquiry in Brora in November.

In an update and appeal sent out to supporters this week, Loth Residents said: “We are making this direct appeal to those of you who have supported us in the past and have indicated your concern about the Kintradwell proposal.”

Renewable energy company RES is seeking to erect 15 turbines, measuring 149.9 metres to tip, and with an installed capacity of 63mw, on Kintradwell Estate, owned by John Billet.

The distance from Brora clock tower to the nearest turbine would be some 4.7 miles.

Loth residents warn that the turbines are in a Special Landscape Area and, as well as overlooking Brora, will also be clearly visible from the A9, Embo, Dornoch, Portmahomack, Ben Bhraggie, the hills of Rogart, Kinbrace and further afield.

Brora community councillor Diana Royce, who is a member of Loth Residents, has previously said: “There will be no hiding from it.”

However, Liam Mackay, the director of Brora based Edward Mackay Contractor Ltd, has spoken out about the employment and economic benefits the wind farm would bring locally.

The firm has signed a deal with RES which gives it first refusal on the civil construction work for the proposed scheme.

Highland Council agreed last November to oppose the wind farm on the grounds of its likely visual impact, and after receiving a total of 208 objections with 38 representations of support. The Scottish Government’s Energy Consents Unit has received 239 objections with 17 in support.

The local authority’s objection triggered a public inquiry and a pre-examination meeting was held on Zoom in June with the appointed reporter when the dates for the inquiry was set as Tuesday to Friday, November 1-4.

Loth Residents said: “Brora Rangers Social Club is the proposed venue, but is as yet unconfirmed. Final details will be confirmed following a further meeting with the reporter on September 8.”

The campaign group adds: “Loth residents have already made a cooperation agreement with Highland Council to share their QC and to engage our own landscape expert.

“We therefore need to raise sufficient funds to cover these costs and our required funding target is £20,000.

“So far, we have successfully secured £14,000 and hope, over the coming months, to achieve our remaining target of £6,000 through further contributions and crowdfunding.”

The group continues: “We are conscious that we are all experiencing difficult economic times, but any contribution you can make would be very gratefully received.

“We are optimistic that we have a very sound case, that common sense will once again prevail, and our coastal hills will remain free of the blight of wind turbines.”

Anyone wishing to contribute can do so by lodging money in a Virgin Money account which has been named Landscape. Account number: 00043473; sort code: 82-65-01.

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