Community given chance to see Watten Wind Farm final plans ahead of planning application
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People living close to the area where a new wind farm with 220m turbines has been proposed are being given the chance to see revised plans.
The Watten Wind Farm bid came under fire at a local meeting in January when Watten Wind Farm Opposition Group said it was sited in one of the last untouched parts of the area.
EDF Renewables UK, which is developing the plans, now says it is ready to submit a planning application after refining its proposals.
The farm would include seven turbines – down from the eight originally proposed – and a battery storage system, and would be sited around 3km south-west of the village.
The plans will be on show at two local public exhibitions, where people will have the opportunity to view the final designs and speak to the project team.
The exhibitions will take place Monday, June 26, at Spittal Village Hall and on Tuesday, June 27, at Watten Village Hall. Both events will take place from 3pm to 7pm.
The proposals will also be online after the in-person events at www.edf-re.co.uk/our-sites/watten
EDF, which operates 10 onshore wind farms across Scotland, including Corriemoillie wind farm in Ross-shire, said that as well as removing one turbine from its design, had also relocated some turbines to avoid areas of deep peat.
It also committed to building “floating” tracks in areas of peat deeper than 70cm, rather than the standard 100cm, and to reduce the number of trees felled.
A path network with bird hide and information panels has also been suggested, and EDF said it would agree specific proposals with the community.
Sarah Dooley, principal project development manager in Scotland for EDF Renewables UK, said: “Throughout the process of developing this wind farm we have met with local people on a number of occasions to listen to their thoughts and concerns and readily answer their questions.
“We held a second round of public exhibitions last year to speak to local people in person and gather their feedback on the proposed designs.
"We are about to submit our planning application, which will be advertised in the local media to allow local people the opportunity to comment on our plans. We wanted to make sure they had the full information on the application before they responded.”
In January, the opposition group stated: "The Watten area is already at capacity with turbines and this proposed wind farm will severely negatively impact one of the few remaining untouched areas. The sheer size of these at 220m high (100m higher than any existing turbines) will have a huge visual impact on not only the Watten area, but the entire county.
"We will continue to fight this new development and make sure we give our concerned community a voice.”