Preparing for the Caplich Public Local Inquiry
Trust Policy Officer John Low reflects on impact Caplich wind farm would have on wild land as he visits viewpoints ahead of PLI
Plans were submitted in early 2015 to build an industrial-scale wind farm near Oykel Bridge, in the shadow of Ben More Assynt. The proposed wind farm would comprise 20 turbines of up to 132m high, 10 of which would be within Wild Land Area 34.
The same area has also been threatened by earlier applications for large-scale wind farms at Glencassley and Sallachy. In 2015 our Area 34 campaign drew attention to the damage these schemes would have on wild land. The Glencassley and Sallachy applications were thankfully refused by the Scottish Government - but Caplich is still to be decided. A Public Local Inquiry into the scheme is scheduled to start on 19 June in Lairg.
Ahead of the PLI the Trust's Policy Officer John Low has been visiting a number of viewpoints of the area affected. John said:- "using the developer's visualisations this week it is hard to believe that approval could be given to build 20 massive turbines here - half of them will be in the Wild Land Area itself. Up Breabag today .... standing at the summit and looking out using the visualisation the impact of Caplich will be horrendous. For 360o from the summit there are virtually no noticeable man-made influences other than smallish areas of plantation. Reference to the visualisation shows that the area will be overwhelmed by the scale of the development. We need to save this Wild Land Area."
At the PLI the Trust will argue that the development would conflict with the Scottish Government’s commitment to safeguard wild land. There will be sessions on socio-economic effects, policy matters, effects on the water environment, and landscape and visual and tourism. The PLI will take place in Lairg Community Centre, Main Street, Lairg, IV27 4DB. Members of the public can attend the PLI as observers. Please email John Low for more details if you would like to come along in support.
Developer's image for visual impact assessment: Viewpoint 15: Stac Pollaidh
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