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Fears expressed over proposed 10 turbine Culachy Wind Farm proposal near Fort Augustus which is out for consultation by Fred Olsen Renewables


By Ian Duncan


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Fred Olsen Renewables Ltd currently operates a number of onshore wind farms in Scotland.
Fred Olsen Renewables Ltd currently operates a number of onshore wind farms in Scotland.

A wind farm could be built on land near Fort Augustus if the plans get approval when they are submitted to Highland Council.

The proposed site is 6km south east of Newtown Invergarry, on the Culachy Estate.

Fred Olsen Renewables is hoping to build the Culachy Wind Farm of up to 10 wind turbines, each measuring up to 220m blade tip height, as well as an associated energy storage system and infrastructure.

A spokesman said: “We are currently undertaking a range of consultation on our proposals to develop Culachy Wind Farm. We hope that this will provide many opportunities to meet the project team, have your questions answered and gather vital views and feedback.”

As part of the consultation the developer held two public exhibitions in April and the spokesman said the feedback gathered would help to shape the firm’s final proposals which would be subject to further consultation prior to submitting a planning application.

He said the wind farm could be an asset to the local area and added: “Culachy Wind Farm is expected to deliver a substantial community benefit fund throughout the lifespan of the project.

“This is anticipated to be in the region of £300,000 per year – a total of £10m over the lifespan of the wind farm.

“We are very keen to hear people’s views and understand local aspirations, identifying how the wind farm can help to support these.”

However Graham Biggs, of Fort Augustus, has criticised the scheme and claimed it could destroy the habitat of the Highlands.

He said that, while the turbines would themselves be located just outside the sight lines of the village, they would be continually accessed from the A74, A82 and B862 roads – by a “hefty procession of heavy bulldozers, diggers and lorries”.

Mr Biggs, who is a former chairman of Fort Augustus Heritage Group, said: “Our narrow, single track Ardachy B862 road is clearly signposted as being unsuitable for heavy vehicles.”

He claimed the vehicle movements would also threaten the narrow Ardachy Bridge and the road beyond which in the past had often been subject to downhill subsidence.

Mr Biggs said the use of heavy vehicles would also destroy the wildlife environment in the area which had been made famous by the writings of local gamekeeper Lea Macnally.

• For more information visit the consultation website.


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