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Historic cottage demolished in Wick to make way for turbines 

Credit:  By David G Scott - Published: 22 March 2024 - johnogroat-journal.co.uk ~~

A Victorian cottage near Wick railway station is in the process of being demolished to make way for the transportation of wind turbine parts through the town.

Bankhead Cottage is on the corner of Thurso Road and Bankhead Road and is described as a “two-bay rubble-built cottage with a similar three-bay structure abutting the rear elevation and W gable”, according to Canmore, a catalogue of Scottish heritage sites compiled and managed by Historic Environment Scotland. The cottage had, however, been extensively modified over the years and little resembled its original style.

Bankhead Cottage in a photograph taken in 1974 before it was extensively modified. Picture: © HES. Reproduced courtesy of J R Hume.

Energy company RWE says it has owned the property for a number of years and has consent from Highland Council for its demolition.

A spokesperson for RWE stated: “RWE is continuing to develop onshore wind, as it has an important role to play in helping deliver the UK and Scottish governments’ net zero emission targets in the coming years. The technology remains the lowest cost form of renewable electricity generation and RWE is increasing its already significant onshore wind portfolio to support national targets with three projects under construction.

“RWE has owned the property in Wick for a number of years and we have consent from the Highland Council to proceed with the removal works. The removal of the cottage will allow large turbine components to navigate the bend and deliver them to the Camster II construction site. In addition, it will help Wick Harbour to accept larger future turbines which can then be transported further afield.

“A future decision on the site has not yet been agreed upon, we will liaise with the Council and other local groups on suitable future uses. In the immediate short term, the land will be maintained with a mixture of hardstanding and grass.”

The property had sold in August 2008 for £130,000 and had been rented out as a three bedroom detached house for £600pcm. A recent tenant was Theodora Kennedy Hunt (Teddy Hunt) who had started various business in Wick that quickly foundered along with her promises of creating 20 local jobs.

The removal of the cottage will make the transportation of wind turbine parts much easier as lorries carrying large heavy loads try to negotiate the sharp turn from Bankhead Road onto Thurso Road.

Negotiating tight bends in Wick can be a major issue for the effective transportation of the wind turbine parts. This shows a lorry turning from Station Road and heading to the Halsary wind farm site during its construction. Picture: Peter Sutherland

A nearby stretch of Common Good land beside Wick river has also been earmarked for lease to wind farm developers, as reported in November last year. The proposed “ribbon lease” is a technical way for developers of renewable projects to get permission to transport large goods such as turbine blades which stretch beyond the boundaries of the public highway.

Each developer requires permission to “oversail” the land in question in order to secure the necessary funding to progress with such large-scale schemes.

Source:  By David G Scott - Published: 22 March 2024 - johnogroat-journal.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 educational 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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