Armadale developers remove three turbines from proposal, increase size of remaining nine
Credit: "Armadale wind farm developers remove three turbines from proposed scheme – but objectors are still not happy" - By John Davidson - Published: 27 January 2023 - northern-times.co.uk ~~
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The company behind plans for a controversial wind farm at Armadale in north Sutherland has axed three turbines from the layout.
Brookfield Renewables UK Ltd confirmed the move which it said was in response to objections.
The original scheme for 12 150-metre high turbines had been due to go before Highland Council’s north planning committee on Wednesday.
But the application was withdrawn following the revision.
Local objectors have pledged to continue to fight the scheme which they insist will still be a blot on the landscape.
The turbines are earmarked to go up on hill land and common grazings overlooking the village and the A836 – part of the North Coast 500.
Two were removed from the scheme in response to objections from residents and the other following concern from Historic Environment Scotland about the perceived unacceptable impact on a broch.
The new proposed lay-out would have six turbines on the farmland and three on the common grazings.
Jason McCall, development director at Brookfield Renewable Partners said: “Having begun consultation with the community on a proposal in early 2020, we have continually taken on board feedback from the community and other consultees including Historic Environment Scotland, NatureScot and RSPB Scotland.
“Further to refined feedback, we are proposing to reduce the number of turbines from 12 to nine, which will deliver further mitigations to noise, shadow flicker and visual amenity, whilst maintaining a subsidy-free energy center (sic).”
The revised layout will be displayed at a community drop-in event in Armadale village hall between 3 and 7pm on Tuesday.
The Brookfield team will also present the findings of its recent consultation into potential community benefit and ownership options.
Detta Velvis, spokesperson for Armadale Windfarm Action Group, yesterday said its objection remains.
“Three less turbines doesn’t change my view or anyone else in the group I have spoken to,” she said. “The opposition remains as firm as ever.”
Ms Velvis, of Armadale House, added: “Three or four of the remaining turbines will still be within a kilometre of housing and the scheme will still tower over the village.”
She added that HES’s objection sought to have four turbines removed or relocated to reduce the impact on the broch near Armadale Burn.
Despite the reduction in the number of turbines, the remaining ones are being redesigned to generate more power so the cluster should have a potential output close to the 57.6 megawatt rating of the original scheme.
Because of its size, Scottish ministers will have the final say on whether or not it gets the go-ahead.
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