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Highland Council to object to Kirkton Energy Park proposal on north coast


By Caroline McMorran

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Highland councillors have agreed to object to a 53MW wind farm proposed for the north coast.

Members of the North Planning Applications Committee considered an application for the 11-turbine Kirkton Energy Park, south of Melvich, at their meeting in Inverness last Tuesday.

An application for the 11-turbine Kirkton Energy Park, south of Melvich, was considered at the North Planning Applications Committee last week.
An application for the 11-turbine Kirkton Energy Park, south of Melvich, was considered at the North Planning Applications Committee last week.

Onshore developments above 50MW are determined by the Scottish Government under Section 36 of the Electricity Act. However, Highland Council is a statutory consultee.

The developers behind Kirkton Energy Park are Wind 2 Limited in association with companies managed by Octopus Energy Generation - investors in renewable energy.

A site 2.1km south of Melvich, 8.6km south-east of Armadale and approximately 7.9km south-west of Reay has been identified for the wind farm.

The 11 turbines in the scheme would be 149.9m high at the tip of the blades.

Highland Council received two objections to the development while the Scottish Government’s Energy Consents Unit received six objections and four representations in support.

Objectors are concerned about the visual impact the wind farm would have on the North Sutherland landscape as well as its impact on forestry, habitats and biodiversity.

Planners recommended that councillors object, saying that the scheme would result in a “significant loss of peatland and bog habitat” in an area bidding for Flow Country World Heritage Status.

At last Tuesday’s meeting, Councillor Richard Gale, chairman of Sutherland County Committee, said the development was in the “wrong place” and was detrimental to the environment. His county committee colleague Cllr Michael Baird agreed, saying: “We should just support the officials’s report and raise an objection.”

Councillor Richard Gale.
Councillor Richard Gale.

The committee supported the two Sutherland representatives, agreeing to raise an objection.


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