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Friday, 1 March, 2002, 07:02 GMT
Crofters to benefit from wind farm
Isle of Skye
The development will be in the south of Skye
Plans for a wind farm on the Isle of Skye have taken a significant step forward following a deal between crofters and their landlord.

The agreement means locals should be set to profit from the proposed 30m development.

A total of 28 wind turbines are planned for the site near Edinbane.

The development would be built by Amec, the company behind plans to create the world's largest wind farm - with 250 turbines - on the Isle of Lewis.

Wind turbines
Up to 28 turbines could be built

A newly-created company, Edinbane Estate Wind Farm Company Ltd, will see shares divided equally between estate owner Ruairaidh Hilleary and local tenants.

Under the 1976 Crofting Reform Act, crofters are entitled to 50% of the development potential of the land.

Mr Hilleary said: "Certainly it would be a very nice bit of income for the township.

"The company will have the shares issued to the crofter, and tied to the croft."

Mr Hilleary said he was uncertain of the precise amount each crofter would receive but added that he hoped to sign an option agreement and a lease "fairly shortly".

'Good location'

It is now hoped to have a decision from planners at the end of June. The wind farm could be operational by the end of 2003.

Around 30 jobs are expected to be created during the year-long construction phase.

David Still, general manager of Amec, said: "It's a pretty good location - it's fairly well obscured.

"If we get a decision in June or July, then we will be looking to get construction contracts signed by the end of the year.

"It will be of benefit to the local community - they wanted to do it as part of their overall plan."

See also:

13 Dec 01 | Scotland
Giant wind farm for island
13 Dec 01 | Scotland
Wind farm isle's wealth of history
27 Nov 01 | Scotland
Firms plan 500m wind farm
12 Nov 01 | UK
Q&A: Wind and wave power
30 Nov 00 | Scotland
Executive pledge on green energy
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