Page last updated at 00:27 GMT, Friday, 4 April 2008 01:27 UK

1.1m blow out on wind projects

North Harris (Pic: Iain Maclean)
North Harris on the Western Isles could be home to three turbines

A community wind farm project on the Western Isles has secured 900,000 from the Big Lottery Fund.

The North Harris Trust has plans for three turbines which could generate an annual income of 150,000 from the sale of electricity.

Cash raised would be put towards other projects and jobs creation.

Ore Valley Housing Association (OVHA) in Fife has been awarded 200,000 towards a feasibility study of a proposed wind farm near Cardenden.

The Scottish Government cancelled a public inquiry into the North Harris scheme last September. Plans for a site at Monan had been delayed for a year after Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) lodged an objection.

We may only be a small housing association but this is about community regeneration and investment and could make all the difference to many lives here in Fife
Andrew Saunders
OVHA chief executive

But the agency dropped its complaint that the turbine would impact on a national scenic area earlier this week.

Calum Mackay, North Harris Trust chairman, welcomed the lottery grant.

He said: "This development will bring considerable benefit to the entire North Harris community in the years ahead."

Andrew Saunders, chief executive of the OVHA, said the association would be able to take the first steps towards harnessing wind energy on a medium scale.

He said: "We may only be a small housing association but this is about community regeneration and investment and could make all the difference to many lives here in Fife."

The grants follow comments by Lorne MacLeod, chairman of Highlands and Islands Community Energy Company, that communities were frustrated by how long it took to deal with applications for small-scale projects.

He argued they were worthwhile and single and small-scale schemes should be fast-tracked through the planning process.


SEE ALSO
Fast-track call for wind schemes
02 Apr 08 |  Highlands and Islands
No public inquiry into wind farm
06 Sep 07 |  Highlands and Islands
Wind turbines objection dropped
04 Sep 07 |  Highlands and Islands

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