Caithness windfarm consent refused – impact on residents too high
Energy Minister Fergus Ewing has today refused planning consent for a proposed wind farm at Spittal Hill, Caithness.
The Energy Minister found that the impact of the proposed wind farm on the occupants of nearby properties was too high, and that the cumulative impact of the wind farm on views when considered together with existing and consented wind farms nearby, was too high.
The application was for a 77.5MW, 30 turbine wind farm on a hill 1.2km north east of Spittal Village, Caithness and was submitted by Spittal Hill Windfarm Limited.
The local planning authority, the Highland Council, objected to the application and so a public local inquiry was held in May 2011, and following that inquiry an independent reporter appointed by Scottish Ministers recommended that consent should be refused.
Energy Minster Fergus Ewing said:
“Scotland has enormous potential for renewable energy that is delivering jobs and investment across Scotland, and I am determined to ensure communities all over Scotland reap the benefit from renewable energy – but not at any cost and we will ensure a balanced approach in taking forward this policy, as we have in the past and will in future.
“The Scottish Government wants to see the right developments in the right places and Scottish planning policy is clear that the design and location of any wind farm should reflect the scale and character of the landscape and should be considered environmentally acceptable.
“The impact of this proposed wind farm on the landscape, and the impact it would have on the homes of those who live closest to it, is too great.”
This is the first time the Scottish government has rejected plans for an onshore wind farm in four years.