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Height of nonsense as Lairg 2 turbines amended for third time

By Caroline McMorran

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North anti-wind farm campaigner Brenda Herrick has said the constant changes made by a power company to its plans for a wind farm in Sutherland were now "beyond a joke".

Brenda Herrick.
Brenda Herrick.

Energiekontor UK has altered the height of its turbines at its proposed Lairg 2 wind farm three times.

It has upped the height of the tallest turbines proposed by 30m from an original 180m to 210m, only to decrease them again.

Highland councillors gave planning consent to the wind firm in June 2019 to erect seven turbines measuring 180 metres to tip height and three at a height of 150 metres on a site close to the existing three-turbine Lairg 1 wind farm, some 4km south-east of the community.

Just weeks after gaining consent, the firm submitted a pre-application notice (PAN) flagging up its intent to increase the height of the seven taller turbines by 10 metres to 190m.

This was followed up last month by the submission of a second PAN indicating it wanted to raise the height of the seven yet again - this time to 210 metres.

Now a second planning application has been lodged with Highland Council in which the firm seeks to modify the turbine heights yet again.

The renewable energy company now wants six turbines measuring 200m; one at 190m and three at 150m.

Ms Herrick previously said she had been taken aback at the speed at which Energiekontor UK sought a variance to its original consent and that developers should not be allowed to continually alter plans.

She also said she was "fed-up" with all the post-consent amendments.

She told the Northern Times last week: "I can't imagine how Highland Council's case officers keep up with all of this.

"At least they have climbed down a bit from 210m, but how long will that last?"

Caithness councillor Donnie Mackay has called for a meeting to discuss the soaring height of wind turbines.

Speaking about the Lairg 2 application following the submission of the second PAN, he said: "They are getting higher and higher the whole time. I feel for residents in that area."

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