HIGHLAND councillors yesterday deferred making a decision on an application to build the first single wind turbine in Easter Ross to allow them to scrutinise high-quality photographs of the proposal’s visual impact.
Applicant Kenneth Mackenzie has applied to erect the 200ft 330KW turbine on land south-east of Cullisse Farmhouse at Nigg.
The proposal has attracted 71 letters of objection from neighbouring residents as well as objections from Nigg and Shandwick Community Council and Kilmuir and Logie Easter Community Council.
They raised concerns about the size and visibility of the turbine as well as its effect on the amenity of the area, the impact on wildlife and the airfield at Fearn, near Tain.
At yesterday’s a meeting of Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross planning application committee, members were shown mock photographs of what the wind turbine would look like from a number of sites around Nigg and Fearn.
But East Sutherland and Edderton councillor Ian Ross raised concerns that the photographs were not of a high enough quality for members to be able to make a decision.
He said: “Wind turbines, whether single or as part of a farm, are always controversial and the primary concern is normally their visual impact.
“I feel uneasy about making a decision on this when we don’t have high-quality photographs of what that visual impact will be.”
Tain and Easter Ross councillor Fiona Robertson issued a plea to her fellow members to object to the proposal as it would have a detrimental effect on the area.
She said: “More than 40 properties are within 1.2miles of this wind turbine. It is a very residential area.
“I also have concerns about the effect it will have on the landscape, the wildlife that live there and local tourists who come here to view the landscape.”
Councillors voted six to three to defer the decision until high-quality photographs could be produced.