Limekiln wind farmPublished: 14th July 2015
Updated 22/02/17 Public Local Inquiry pending following repeat application for wind farm in Caithness.
Update 22 February 2017: Highland councillors have objected to the repeat application. The Trust is thankful for the democratic process as elected Highland Councillors voted against the proposal, once again rejecting advice (which the Trust regards as inadequate and insufficiently recognising the current protection of Wild Land Areas) from their planning officials. This application will now go to a second Inquiry.
Update 11 January 2017: Highland Council has deferred a decision on Limekiln pending further information on the Flow Country's bid for World Heritage Status. It is likely to be reconsidered in February.
Update 9 January 2017: The Trust has written to members of Highland Council's North Planning Committee in advance of their meeting at which they will consider the Limekiln repeat application. Our letter raises some substantive issues arising from this proposal. You can read this in the downloads below.
Update 27 July 2016: The applicant has re-submitted the previous scheme design proposal for this wind farm of 24 turbines in spite of this being rejected by Scottish Ministers in July 2015 following the Public Inquiry held in August 2014. We have submitted an objection to this latest application - you can read this in the downloads below.
Update 13 January 2016: The developer has brought back an almost identical proposal in spite of last year's refusal after the Public Inquiry. This highlights the need for genuine reform in the planning process so that communities are not beleaguered for years by poor and inappropriate applications. We believe this new application should be rejected without further ado.
Background to original (2013) application and Public Local Inquiry: An application for a 24 turbine wind farm at Limekiln, by developer Infinergy Ltd, was submitted in 2013. The development site is around 1.5km south of Reay in Caithness, on the edge of Wild Land Area 39: East Halladale Flows.
We gave evidence at a Public Local Inquiry in September 2014 into this scheme where we expressed conccern about the impact in an area immediately adjacent to one of Scotland’s new Wild Land Areas. Highland Council also gave evidence at the Inquiry, following the unanimous decision to oppose the scheme at a meeting of the North Planning Committee, where the application was described as “visually shocking.”
Because of the adoption of the Wild Land Areas map by the Scottish Government in June 2014, the PLI, for the first time, included a specific session on wild land. We were hopeful the Reporter would advise that the development be rejected because approval would undermine the integrity of the Wild Land Areas map.
We were delighted at the news in July 2015 that Scotland’s Energy Minister Fergus Ewing rejected the application because of its potential impact on the Wild Land Areas map. Read our response.