Déjà vu for Trust as second Limekiln Public Local Inquiry approaches
Trust once again determind to stop this inappropriate wind farm development in Europe's largest expanse of blanket bog from going ahead
Later this year, for the first time the Trust will find itself defending the same area of wild land at a second Public Local Inquiry into a development that has previously been thrown out by Scottish Government Ministers.
Once again, the complex and costly process of defending wild land will begin again as the various parties argue at Inquiry whether or not it is appropriate to build a wind farm at Limekiln in Caithness - even though the development proposal is almost identical to the one which was rejected in 2015.
Limekiln wind farm would be sited right up against the boundary of Wild Land Area 39, East Halladale Flows. This area, lying at the northern-most tip of the Scottish mainland, is distinguished by extensive low lying peatland in contrast to many of the more mountainous Wild Land Areas. It also lies within the Flow Country, an area recognised as the largest expanse of blanket bog in Europe.
Of the 24 turbines, 15 would be at 139m high to blade tip and 9 turbines would be at a maximum of 126m high to blade tip. The Trust was a leading objector at the original Public Local Inquiry in 2014 and, as the re-submitted proposal remained the same as the original, objected to the repeat application last year.
In February this year, a further Inquiry was triggered after Highland Councillors objected to the proposal. We do not believe there is anything relevant or new that supports the case for this wind farm to be approved second time around and will, once again, fight hard to stop this inappropriate development from going ahead.
The first stage of the Inquiry begins with a Pre-Examination Meeting on Thursday 31 August in Reay or Thurso. At this stage the venue has not been finalised so please contact Mel Nicoll Campaigns Co-ordinator nearer the time if you are interested in attending as an observer and would like final details.
Extended – or second - Public Local Inquiries into developments like Limekiln show that current Scottish Government policy where wild land is concerned is not strong enough. Scotland’s wild land is a finite resource and developments such as these should be refused automatically because their impacts on Wild Land Areas cannot be sufficiently minimised.
Illustration above is the developer's visualisation from viewpoint 17. It shows the scale of the proposed turbines relative to mature conifer plantation.