Rejected Caithness windfarm back on the table

Developers have resubmitted a planning application for a 24-turbine Caithness windfarm that was rejected by a Scottish Government reporter after a public inquiry.

Two years on, Infinergy will again seek approval for a Limekiln scheme, near the Dounreay power station.

The turbines would stand up to 456ft tall and have a potential to power more than 45,000 homes.

It went to an inquiry after an objection from Highland Council and the verdict was issued last July was on a lack of information about “wild land.”

Infinergy bosses said yesterday they had addressed the issue in the resubmitted application, “adding further information relating to the particular area of concern.”

Infinergy managing director Esbjorn Wilmar said: “I’m very pleased to have been able to address the area of concern raised by the reporters and am confident that this will show that Limekiln is indeed a suitably sited and designed windfarm which will bring a great deal of benefit to the local area.”

Infinergy will consider options for community ownership of part of the project.

It is arranging briefings on the issue for Highland and local community councillors.

Company spokeswoman Fiona Milligan added: “We want to make Limekiln deliver real tangible socio-economic benefits to the people of Caithness and Sutherland.

“To do that, we’re looking into the opportunity for community bodies or social enterprises to invest in part of the windfarm.”

Caithness-based wind industry watcher Brenda Herrick said: “It’s disgraceful that these bullying companies are allowed to pursue their ambitions time and again despite overwhelming local opposition from communities and councils.

“This huge scheme is not wanted in the area and will have a devastating effect on the residents of Reay and further afield.

“Local members of the Planning Committee considering the previous application were unanimous in their disapproval. The local opposition group fought hard against it and have the added threat now of the proposed Drum Hollistan windfarm nearby.”

The Limekiln project was launched in 2012. Infinergy claims it would inject £9million of investment into the area.

Discussions with a community liaison group has alreday focussed on a potential windfall for rural transport development and tourism initiatives.

Details of the revised proposals are available to view – by arrangement – at Reay Village Hall, Highland Council’s offices in Wick and Inverness, and also online at www.limekilnwindfarm.co.uk

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