Atmos Consulting has been praised for the quality of its Environmental Statement (ES) after the North Area Planning Committee of The Highland Council (THC) unanimously approved a planning application for the installation of a single wind turbine in the Coigach area of the Highlands, on behalf of Coigach Community Development Company (CCDC).
The proposed community turbine will be located near the village of Achiltibuie on the north-west coast of Scotland, and will have an output of up to 900kW. Polls have shown that the project, already eight years in gestation, has enjoyed considerable community support from the outset.
Atmos has been involved since 2005,when it conducted feasibility studies on two locations. The consultancy was then commissioned to prepare an ES for planning submission on behalf of Coigach Wind Power Ltd, the project company set up by CCDC, in 2009. Extensive consultation was carried out throughout the process including a public exhibition held in Achiltibuie, which gave local people an opportunity to view and comment on the proposed plans. Scottish Natural Heritage was consulted on the positioning of the turbine, resulting in a sensitively located turbine with limited visibility from surrounding iconic landmarks.
The comprehensive approach was praised by The Highland Council describing it as a ‘very comprehensive ES” and “a good robust ES which picks up the key issues very well’.
Atmos Consulting’s Project Manager, Tony Gallagher, said: “This is a great result for Coigach, and it shows the importance of providing a thorough, professional and comprehensive Environmental Statement and engagement with stakeholders.”
The community group also undertook a poll of all residents which demonstrated a majority support for the wind project.