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In February 2012 we submitted a proposal to the Scottish Government for a 27 turbine wind farm at Dalnessie, approximately 13km north-east of Lairg, in Sutherland.In February 2013, Highland Council’s North Planning Committee raised an objection to the proposed Dalnessie wind farm which will now be subject to a public inquiry process.
A pre-inquiry meeting took place in Lairg on 26 September 2013 to discuss the format, procedures and dates for the public inquiry.
The meeting indicated that the public inquiry is likely to take place in February next year.
Wind turbines produce electricity by using the natural power of the wind to drive a generator.
Of projects and assets
We recognise that our investments in new electricity generation benefit from the co-operation of the local community in a variety of ways, particularly during the construction phase. In recognition of this, our policy is to establish long-term funds to support community projects in areas where we are developing generation projects.
We have been gathering wind data from the site since early 2010, when meteorological masts were erected. In June 2010, after undertaking some initial baseline studies, we entered the Scoping stage of the project and a Scoping Report (a copy of the report can be found below) was issued to statutory and non-statutory consultees in order to obtain feedback and refine the scope of the environmental work.
Since the submission of the Scoping Report we have continued to engage with statutory and non-statutory consultees, and in March 2011 we held a public consultation exhibition in Lairg in order to engage with the local community on the proposal and provide the opportunity for people to raise questions, concerns, ideas or comments that could be considered as part of the development process. We then presented the final proposal at a public exhibition in Lairg during early December 2011 and our project team were present to discuss the design and answer any questions.
Throughout the planning process we will continue to maintain our dialogue with the local Community Councils and wider community. We have also developed a local newsletter for the Lairg area (a copy can be found below) which helps keep the community up to date with our wider activities in the area.
In February 2012 we submitted the proposal to the Scottish Government (a copy of the Non Technical Summary can be found below) followed by an Addendum of further information in September 2012 providing an amended layout to address comments received from consultees (a copy of the Non Technical Summary can be found below).
In February 2013, Highland Council’s North Planning Committee raised an objection to the proposed Dalnessie wind farm which we can now confirm will be subject to a public inquiry process.
More information can also be found on the Scottish Government’s website.
On 26 September, a public ‘pre-inquiry’ meeting was held in Lairg by the Scottish Government’s Inquiry Reporters Unit to discuss the format, procedures, and dates for the Dalnessie wind farm public inquiry. SSE, together with the Highland Council, SNH, the John Muir Trust, the Mountaineering Council of Scotland and a representative for Loch Choire Estate attended the meeting which was also open to the public. It was indicated that a mix of hearings, inquiry sessions, and written responses would be used in the public inquiry, and that the key topic areas to be addressed would include policy (national and local), landscape and visual, and wild land. A range of procedural dates were intimated relating to site visits and the submission of statements and evidence, and the Reporter indicated that the public inquiry is likely to take place in February next year. All of the above information is SSE’s understanding of what was agreed at the Pre-Inquiry Meeting and is therefore subject to change until all the details are formally confirmed by the Directorate for Planning and Environmental Appeals in due course.
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