Fury over new windfarm plans in Caithness

Councillors agreed to ratify the decision to refuse the scheme

Fury has erupted in a Caithness community over the visual impact of a proposed batch of turbines – after a new image emerged highlighting how prominent they would be.

E-ON Climate and Renewables UK Developments Ltd wants to build up to 22 turbines – reduced from 47 – at Golticlay, two and a half miles north of Lybster.

This month, local residents will get the chance to view the proposals for the masts, which will be up to 427ft tall, during two consultation days at Lybster Community Centre.

But already concerns have been raised after a new impression shows the view of the turbines from Lybster, and will be among several the several viewpoints on display at the event.

Yesterday Caithness anti-windfarm campaigner Brenda Herrick said she was “shocked” by the image, adding: “Local people really need to see this. The main issue is that these turbines are absolutely massive.

“It is good to see that it is now 22 turbines and not 47, but developers talk about huge numbers and chop them off and think everyone is happy. I think the people of Lybster are in for a shock.

“It’s a popular area for tourists and the weapon we have against them is the presence of wildcat. The Wildcat Haven are looking there and if they are found, that will be that.

“Caithness is just being trashed by turbines – they are just everywhere.”

Resident John Robson, of Newlands of Smerlie, Lybster, said he fears the area could soon be “ringed” with wind turbines, adding: “The thing that’s most disturbing to us with the Golticlay plans is the height of these things – they are absolutely enormous. Burn of Whilk windfarm is about four to five miles away and we see them as well.

“People are not going to want to come from miles away to see the likes of the Campstor Cairns, which are thousands of years old. It’s already off putting for tourists, and people who have been here before tell me they are horrified with what they are seeing around the county.”

The exhibitions will be held on January 27 and 28 at the community centre, from 2pm-8pm.

Vicki Harrison, project developer at E-ON, said: “These sessions are being held to update the local community about our plans while giving them the opportunity to share their views, ask questions and comment on our proposed turbine layout for the site.

“We’d like to invite as many people as possible to come along to the public exhibitions at Lybster Community Centre when we’ll be happy to discuss our proposals and outline how the wind farm will look.”

Anyone wanting to get in touch can contact E-ON on 0800 096 1199, or e-mail golticlay@eon.com