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Sallachy wind farm construction traffic would have 'significant impact' on roads and communities, says transport planning

By Caroline McMorran

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Construction traffic for a planned Sutherland wind farm will have a significant impact on the local road network and communities, Highland Council’s transport planning team has said.

The team has lodged a ‘holding objection’ to a planning application for nine turbines on a site sloping down to the south shore of Loch Shin at Sallachy. The site would be accessed via the A838.

A heavy goods vehicle loaded with a turbine component en route to a wind farm under development in Sutherland.
A heavy goods vehicle loaded with a turbine component en route to a wind farm under development in Sutherland.

Roads officials say they need more information from developers WKN before a decision can be reached.

The holding objection, which is available to view on Highland Council’s eplanning site, states: “Despite the advice given at pre-application, no consultation has been undertaken with the council’s structures team or the roads operation manager’s team.

“Consultation and more detailed examination of the necessary mitigation needed is required prior to determination.”

Roads officials say the A838 is particularly vulnerable as it is a single-track route with very low traffic volumes at present and no history of intensive use.

Measures which would need to be carried out to make it suitable for heavy turbine traffic include carriageway widening and strengthening. Substantial ‘land take’ would also be required at a couple of junctions.

And roads officials are also seeking an assessment of the likely impact on bridges and other structures.

Transport planning says it considers “the impact of the construction traffic will be significant on the local road network and on the communities of Lairg, Bonar Bridge and Ardgay".

Planners have received a total of 297 representations regarding the Sallachy development with 125 of these objections and 170 in support.

To view the planning application click here.

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