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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 May, 2005, 13:21 GMT 14:21 UK
Skye wind farm to be reconsidered
Concern has been raised about peat slides
Planning permission for a controversial wind farm on the Isle of Skye is to be reconsidered after scrutiny by Highland councillors.

In 2002, international power company Amec was given permission to build 27 turbines at Edinbane, north of Portree.

However, Highland Council has sent the application back to the drawing board.

Planners say the risk of peat slides and the threat to golden eagles from the turbines means the plan should be considered afresh.

The plan to build a wind farm on Skye had been approved almost three years ago, despite opposition from local people.

The council has taken the view that the golden eagle and peat slide issues are material considerations
John Rennilson
Director of planning

Critics, who include the former television executive Sir Jeremy Isaacs and scientist David Bellamy, said the development would dominate the skyline and harm the island's tourist trade.

In 2002 officials recommended that councillors give their backing to the 300m project, which will feed electricity into the national grid.

Councillors said they had reluctantly decided to look at the whole planning application again.

Highland Council has also been in discussions with Scottish Natural Heritage, who will now carry out a survey to assess whether the site poses a threat to golden eagles.

'Real concerns'

John Rennilson, the local authority's director of planning and development, said: "Following discussions with an environmental lawyer, the council has taken the view that the golden eagle and peat slide issues are material considerations.

"Since the Irish peat slide had not taken place prior to the committee meeting in November 2002, nor had the further information on potential bird strikes been made available, then there is no question that the decision of the committee was a valid decision taken with the benefit of all the material then available."

Construction work on a wind farm in the Slieve Aughty mountains in south Galway caused a major bogslide in October 2003.

Go-ahead for wind power scheme
29 Nov 02 |  Scotland
Crofters to benefit from wind farm
01 Mar 02 |  Scotland

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