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Meeting called by Ardross Community Council over redesigned plans for Easter Ross wind farm at Strathrory by EnergieKontor

By Neil MacPhail

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A PUBLIC meeting has been called to discuss new wind farm plans with higher turbines for the hills north of Alness.

EnergieKontor (EK) are seeking planning permission for a "redesign" of the wind farm they propose for Strathrory comprising seven turbines.

The meeting called by Ardross Community Council is in Ardross Community Hall on Monday July 11 from 7.30pm till 8pm.

The community council is keen to hear everyone's views before they respond to Highland Council on the planning application.

An original planning application was submitted in January 2020 but two Further Environmental Information reports were produced in September 2020 and January 2021, respectively to address consultee comments, primarily on the grounds of landscape and visual impacts as well as hydrology and peat.

The layout developed as part of the redesign process for the second FEI (January 2021) was granted planning permission in January 2022.

It is proposed five of the seven turbines will have a maximum blade tip height of 180 metres and two will have have a blade tip height of 150 metres.

The application for the erection and operation of the wind farm for 35 years also includes battery energy storage system, access tracks, borrow pit, substation, control building, and ancillary infrastructure.

EK UK Ltd is a renewable energy development company with offices in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Leeds formed in 1999 and which develops onshore wind and solar farms throughout the UK.

EK's parent company, was established in 1990 in Bremerhaven in Germany and it has since grown to become one of the leading wind energy companies in Europe, having built 118 wind farms there.

The Strathrory site primarily consists of open moorland and it is proposes two tower lines will run parallel to each other in a southwest to northeast direction to the west of the B9176 and Morangie Forest.

The application states that all archaeological features have been plotted, assessed and avoided, and a minimum separation distance from residential properties of 2km was included in the design.

If approved a new access junction from the B1976 will be created to allow deliveries of the turbines.

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