Published: 11/03/2016 16:30 - Updated: 14/03/2016 08:14

New plans for wind farm on West Garty Estate

Plans resubmitted for controversial wind farm.
Plans resubmitted for controversial wind farm.

A COMPANY is continuing with its bid to build a controversial 51MW wind farm on a sporting estate in East Sutherland.

West Garty Renewables has resubmitted plans for a 17-turbine development on West Garty Estate, at Loth.

It is the third time in the last 13 months that plans have been lodged with the

Scottish Government’s energy consents unit.

The plans have been amended each time with a reduction being made in the number and size of turbines as well as other changes.

West Garty Renewables is a consortium of local landowners which is backed

by Aberdeenshire company Muirden Energy.

The turbines would be built between Glen Loth and Helmsdale on the south-eastern slopes of Beinn Mhealaich and Culgower Hill.

Three separate wind farm schemes in

the area were first mooted in the mid

1990s but refused following a public inquiry.

West Garty Renewables made its first application in December 2014 for 18 turbines measuring up to 120 metres from ground to tip.

Following consultation, the company resubmitted its application in October 2015, dropping the number of turbines to 17 with a height of 110 metres – more than three times the height of the monument to the 1st Duke of Sutherland on Ben Bhraggie.

The latest application, which is advertised in today’s Northern Times, is for the same number and size of turbines.

 However, it contains additional information relating to peat investigations which have taken place.

The development has previously met with opposition from Scottish Natural Heritage which said it would have “extensive and significant impact on this distinctive coastal area”.

Local groups including Loth residents and Brora Golf Club have also opposed it. Club president Alistair Risk said the

development would be intrusive and dominate the skyline northwards from the golf club.

He said it would have a detrimental effect on the golf tourism business.

   The application goes to the Scottish Government rather than the local authority because its output would be more than 50MW, but Highland Council will be asked for its views.

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