Highland Cooncillors* are due to make a site-visit today (11 April) to the proposed Aberarder Wind Farm site before making a decision on the project at their committee meeting tomorrow (12 April).
The site visit will allow members to see firsthand the project’s location, which is sited next to the consented Dunmaglass Wind Farm. It cannot be seen from Loch Ness.
Aberarder Wind Farm was initially discussed at the cooncil’s South Planning Applications Committee in March, at which which councillors decided to undertake a site visit.
The proposed wind farm is for 12 turbines up to 130m inheight to tip and is approximately four miles south of East Croachy. The nearest residential property is situated more than two miles away.
Aberarder Wind Farm is recommended for approval by Highland Council officials and has received no objections from key statutory consultees such as SNH, SEPA and Historic Environment Scotland.
RES, a UK company employing over 100 staff in Scotland, has developed three wind farms in the Highlands and has a track record of working with local companies to help deliver their projects.
If approved, the project will bring significant local economic and community benefit to the Highlands. The construction contract for the project is estimated to be £8 million.
RES is also committed toproviding community benefit of up to £5,000 per megawatt (MW) of installed capacity if the scheme is consented, which equates to up to £4.5m over the lifetime of the project.
RES Development Manager John Appleton said: “We welcome councillors undertaking a site visit for Aberarder Wind Farm and we are confident that it will demonstrate that this is a good site for a wind farm and that it is well sited within the landscape.”
Jamie Corser, Business Development Manager, RJ McLeod (Contractors) Ltd, said: “Aberarder wind farm has the potential to deliver significant socio-economic benefits to the area during construction in the form of local jobs and employment, use of local services, and local spend.
“As a Highlands civil engineering company with over 60 years experience, onshore wind development has become an increasingly important part of our work portfolio. The construction of wind farms has allowed us to expand our local workforce across the Highlands and this has also had a considerable knock-on effect for other local employers.
“Continuing onshore wind development is significant in the ongoing success of our business and we urge Highland Council to recognise this in their decision-making.”
** ‘Cooncil’ is the Scots language word for ‘council’ and is not pejorative:
Dictionar o’ the Scots Leid / Dictionary of the Scots Language – http://goo.gl/7xo5Bk