Villagers against plans for wind project off Caithness

The Dounreay Tri project
The Dounreay Tri project

A village fears plans by a Swedish design and engineering company to install two giant floating wind turbines off the north Caithness coast will put off people moving to their area.

Melvich Community Council says the turbines would ruin the sea view that many seek in moving to the area and could have the knock-on effect of threatening its school and care home even further.

Hexicon AB has sought permission from the Scottish government, Highland Council and Orkney Islands Council for the demonstration project.

The firm has set up Dounreay Trì Limited to develop the scheme.

The scheme comes before Highland Council’s North Planning Applications Committee on Tuesday which is being recommended not to raise any objection to the Scottish Government, which will have the final say.

However there are five representations made to the council mainly over the scheme’s visual impact in a scenic area.

And Melvich Community Council, which was consulted by Marine Scotland, also raised concerns.

The council said the existing wind farm in its area in nearby Sutherland – SSE’s Strathy North – as well as the proposed Strathy South wind farm had shown “a good level of consideration” for the impact these turbines would have on the views of those who both live and visit the area – unlike the latest development.

“We expect this would put off any individuals who were considering moving to Melvich and Portskerra in the future. Related to the above point, it has been noted that wind farms can have a huge impact on the house prices in the areas to which they are visible.”

But in her report, planning officer Emma Forbes said:”Whilst it is acknowledged the proposal will have significant localised impact, given the small footprint of the offshore site, the predominantly long or very long separation distances and small proportion of the view affected and the containment of the development within the much wider panorama of coast and sea allow this to be viewed as acceptable in the wider landscape and seascape setting of the area.”

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