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Sallachy wind farm could deliver 'lasting benefits'


By Caroline McMorran

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Planners had earlier this week received 25 representations regarding the planned nine-turbine wind farm at Sallachy Estate.

There were 15 objections to the development – on open moorland sloping down to the south shore of Loch Shin – and nine expressions of support.

Those against, which includes Mountaineering Scotland, claim that the landscape and visual impacts are not acceptable.

The site earmarked for the wind farm is 18.3km to the north west of Lairg and lies in the Reay-Cassley Wild Land Area.
The site earmarked for the wind farm is 18.3km to the north west of Lairg and lies in the Reay-Cassley Wild Land Area.

Supporters, including Lairg Community Council, say the development will have limited visibility, is also sensitive to the landscape and will provide “much needed investment to the immediate area”.

As well as community benefit, developer WKN is offering a shared ownership scheme that it believes could be a first for Scotland.

A spokesman for the energy company said: “We have committed to providing the six local communities (Lairg, Creich, Ardgay, Durness, Scourie and Kinlochbervie) with the opportunity to collectively invest up to 10 per cent in the Sallachy Wind Farm.

“A Memorandum of Understanding between WKN and community partners has been agreed and signed in February 2021 and will be explored fully post-determination of the project.”

The Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust (KoSDT) and Lairg and District Community Initiatives have also been involved in the discussions.

KoSDT manager David Watson: “Our discussions around shared ownership have been particularly helpful and there is potential for this project to really deliver lasting benefits for the community.”

A decision on the wind farm is expected to be made this year and, if approval is given, it is anticipated that the grid connection date will be in 2023.

The deadline for representations is Sunday, May 23.


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