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Feedback wanted on 'wind energy hub' plan at Melvich as consultation launched

By John Davidson

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The hub will be situated near the village of Melvich. Picture: John Davidson
The hub will be situated near the village of Melvich. Picture: John Davidson

Thirteen turbines up to 149.9 metres tall are being proposed close to the north coast on a site near Melvich as part of a "wind energy hub".

The company behind the proposals says the development could be worth more than £300,000 a year to the community, and wants to hear from local people.

It launched its first public consultation on Monday after submitting a scoping report to the Scottish Government earlier this month.

The site, sitting to the west and south of the village, could produce up to 60MW of power under the current proposals.

The plans for the hub from Belltown Power will be on public display next week, with an online consultation now live.

It involves a wind farm and energy storage facility. The timeline includes a planning application in 2023, with a potential construction start date in 2025.

The company says its team will be on hand at the exhibitions to answer any questions from local residents and to gather views on the proposal.

Joel Hutchinson, head of development at Belltown Power said: “This is our first consultation event and we want to hear what local residents think of our plans for the Melvich development. We’re keen to engage with as many local folk as we can so we are holding these exhibitions face to face, as well as making the exhibition available online.

“We’ve also written to over 1000 households around the development site with details of the plans.”

Belltown said it had committed to £5000 of community benefit per megawatt, meaning that more than £310,000 could be made available to the local community each year of operation.

It is also offering what it describes as a "ground-breaking community ownership package" which gives the community a one per cent stake in the development for free, with the option to use community benefit funds to add to this investment.

The online, virtual exhibition runs until June 25 and shows all the exhibition panels and boards. Residents can also complete an online feedback form. For more information visit www.belltownpower.com/uk/melvich/

The in-person, public exhibitions will be held on Monday, June 13 at Strathy Hall, from 2pm-7pm, and on Tuesday, June 14 at Halladale Hall, from 10am-2pm.

Belltown Power was founded in 2013 and has delivered 22 projects totalling over 200MW of operational wind, solar and hydropower across Scotland, Wales and England.

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