Trust to give evidence at Caithness wind farm inquiry

Public Local Inquiry into 24-turbine Limekiln scheme starts next week.

The John Muir Trust is expected to be called to give evidence next Monday morning (25 August) in a Public Local Inquiry (PLI) into a proposed wind farm at the Limekiln Estate, near Reay in Caithness.

The Trust is opposing the development – by Dorset-based Infinergy – on the grounds that is adjacent to one of Scotland’s new Wild Land Areas, as mapped by SNH and recognised as an asset of national importance by the Scottish Government.

Highland Council will also give evidence, following the unanimous decision to oppose the scheme at a meeting of the North Planning Committee, where the application was described as “visually shocking.”

Helen McDade, Head of Policy for the John Muir Trust, said: ”As someone who was born and raised in Caithness, protection of the Flow Country is a cause close to my heart.

“But this is also a development of national significance because it is the first major test of the new Wild Land Areas map. A 24-turbine wind farm would visually affect 15 per cent of the East Halladale Flows Wild Land Area.

“If the application were to succeed, it would undermine the integrity of the Wild Land Areas map, and encourage a flood of speculative applications by developers in and around the other 41 Wild Land Areas.”

The PLI will take place at the Weigh Inn hotel in Thurso during the week beginning 25 August.

Because of the adoption of the Wild Land Areas map by the Scottish Government in June of this year, a PLI will, for the first time, be holding a specific session on Wild Land, which is scheduled to take place on the first day (Monday 25th), from 10am.

A full outline of the Trust’s case can be read on our Limekiln page