PRESS RELEASE 11th November 2014.
Highland Council has today (11 November) reaffirmed its support for Sallachy Wind Farm after it unanimously approved the recommendation that there should be no change in response from Highland Council to the Scottish Government in light of the new Scottish Planning Policy (SPP).
Scottish Government’s Energy Consents and Deployment Unit (ECDU) wrote to all consultees, including Highland Council, to ask for an update on their views on Sallachy Wind Farm as a result of the new SPP.
Highland Council originally ‘raised no objection’ to Sallachy in May 2013 and Highland Council’s planning officers found the application to be compliant with Highland Council policy and recommended to councillors to support the scheme. Highland Council has reaffirmed its position in light of the new SPP and the project will go back to the ECDU for a decision.
The proposed Sallachy Wind Farm is located on the south-west shore of Loch Shin, northwest of Lairg for 22 turbines (66MW).
Since the ECDU wrote to consultees in September 2014, a number of new supportive representations have been made by residents, local groups and businesses for Sallachy. This includes the host community council Lairg Community Council and neighbouring community council Ardgay and District Community Council, who both changed their response from neutral to supportive letters to the ECDU.
WKN has fully engaged in the consultation process regarding the new SPP, providing evidence to the SNH consultation on wild land mapping and to the Scottish Government on the new SPP and NPF3.
Oliver Patent, Head of Development UK, said:
“We are pleased to receive the support of Highland Council for a second time on Sallachy Wind Farm after the Council reaffirmed its position on the project to Scottish Ministers. Now that the project has been considered by Highland Council under the new planning policy, we look forward to a final decision being made by Scottish Ministers.
“We welcome the support of the local communities for Sallachy Wind Farm and believe it is vital that the view of the communities who live in Sutherland are heard.
“SPP explicitly supports sustainable development and we feel that our scheme has the potential to do exactly that by improving the social and economic environment of the community. We were pleased to be able to commit to a community benefit agreement for Lairg, Creich and Ardgay & District worth up to £8.5 million over 25 years.
“Sallachy represents an inward investment of over £100m and we have a partnership with Energy North to ensure local and Highland based contractors supply the various works for construction of the wind farm. We have also signed a partnership with the local college to ensure apprenticeships for local young people to benefit from the wind farm.”