Published: 18/07/2012 17:07 - Updated: 18/07/2012 17:09

D-day for Forss wind farm extension bid

Written byby Will Clark

Wind farm.HIGHLAND councillors are set to meet in Thurso tomorrow to review the knockback for a proposed extension to a wind farm west of Thurso.

RES UK and Ireland Ltd, which run the turbine scheme at Forss, were granted the review after their plans to install a further five turbines at the site were thrown out last year.

The application was turned down in October over concerns about the development’s detrimental impact on the landscape and nearby houses as well as on the cultural heritage of the area.

RES UK argued its proposal did not attract any objections from statutory bodies and that it conformed to Scottish planning policy.

The company called for the review as the refusal was made by a planning officer under delegated decision-making powers.

It stated it was important for councillors, who represent the views of the local community, to have their say.

Speaking at the time, development project manager Graeme Kerr said that given the approval of the turbines currently operating at Forss, he felt it was an appropriate area for wind energy development.

“The turbines we are proposing for the extension of the wind farm will be seen in conjunction with those already operating at Forss Wind Farm, which are an established part of the local landscape,” he said.

“This is reflected in the consultation process from Scottish Natural Heritage who considered that there would not be any significant additional adverse impacts on the landscape character of the surrounding area arising from thisproposal.”

The review will be staged at North Highland College UHI in Thurso tomorrow morning when the meeting will be broadcast live on the Highland Council website from1pm.

The wind farm is based on the former US naval site at Forss and part-agricultural land at Borrowston Farm.

The first two turbines were installed in 2003 with a further four erected in 2007.

The nature of the development which is under review involves five new turbines with a maximum wind tip of 81 metres; up to 3.6 kilometres of new and upgraded access tracks; a substation and switchgear building and compound; two temporary meteorological masts; and two temporary construction compounds and access.

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