Orkney wind farm plans rejected

A plan to site three wind turbines near to a World Heritage Site, has been rejected by Scottish Ministers, according to a report in the newspaper Orkney Today.

Orkney Islands Council were informed of the decision by Ministers to refuse the planning application, for the 900kW wind turbines, at Merranblo, following a public inquiry which took place in January.

The seven-day public local inquiry in Stromness, heard objections from Historic Scotland over the visual impact of the proposed windfarm development on the Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site, which includes the Standing Stones of Stenness, and Maeshowe and the Ring of Brodgar.

Orkney Islands councillors gave planning permission to the project developers, landowner Major Malcolm Macrae and Barry Johnston of Stromness-based energy specialists Scotrenewables, against the advice of the council planning department.

Councillors on the environment, planning and protective services committee said that permission for the turbines should be granted because they would provide local economic and renewable energy benefits, and that any visual impact on the UNESCO World Heritage Site would not be adverse.

The council says it is giving careful consideration to the contents of the report from Ministers.