AN anti-wind farm campaigner has suggested that the Strathy South inquiry should be called off following the Westminster Government’s decision to end subsidies for onshore wind developments earlier than expected.
Brenda Herrick, who runs the Caithness Windfarm Information Forum website, has said that if the government stuck to its intention not to subsidise any wind farm which had not received planning permission by 18th June 2016, the 39-turbine Strathy South development was unlikely to go ahead.
In a letter to the Northern Times, she said: "Since it has long been known that no developer would construct a wind farm without the huge profits to be gained via subsidies, where does this leave Strathy South?"
She pointed out that after the close of an inquiry, it was normal for the minister involved to take a year or longer to issue a decision after the reporter had presented the findings of the inquiry.
She acknowledged that it was developer SSE’s decision whether or not to withdraw its Strathy South application, but she has suggested that the government reporter involved in the inquiry should hold discussions with the power company.
Mrs Herrick has described the Strathy South inquiry, which opened in April but was then partly postponed until last week, as the "most protracted" she had ever experienced and expressed surprise that the late submission of environmental information had been allowed.
"It is not the first time an applicant has been allowed to submit documents long after the agreed deadline giving other parties little time to respond," she wrote.