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Fresh bid for wind farm at Sallachy Estate

By Caroline McMorran

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A RENEWABLE energy company is making a second attempt at securing planning permission for a wind farm at Sallachy Estate.

Scottish ministers rejected in 2015 an application from WKN to erect 22 turbines with an installed capacity of 66mw at Sallachy.

It was felt that the development would have an unacceptable impact on the Reay-Cassley Wild Land Area.

A previous application for a 22 turbine wind farm at Sallachy Estate was rejected by Scottish Ministers.
A previous application for a 22 turbine wind farm at Sallachy Estate was rejected by Scottish Ministers.

The power company has now lodged a fresh planning application for nine turbines up to a maximum blade tip height of 149.9m on open moorland sloping down to the south shore of Loch Shin.

The site is 18.3km to the north west of Lairg and sits within the Reay-Cassley Wild Land Area, to the north of the Strath an Loin Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), part of the Caithness and Sutherland Peatlands Special Area.

The wind farm would have an installed capacity of up to 49.9mw - below the 50mw threshold where it would have to be referred to the Scottish Government’s Consent Unit.

In background papers, WKN states: “Following review of the Scottish Ministers decision, the applicant considers that through reduction of the original proposed layout, it would be possible to reduce the landscape and visual impacts to an acceptable level.”

Last year WKN’s head of UK Development Oliver Patent said the company had been working with communities in central and north west Sutherland (Lairg, Creich, Ardgay, Scourie, Kinlochbervie and Durness) and had signed a Memorandum of Understanding to make an annual award of £5000 per mw to the local communities.

Discussions have also taken place on the opportunity for communities to own up to 10 per cent equity in the wind farm.

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