A fourth planning application has been lodged with Comhairle nan Eilean Siar for a windfarm in the Eishken Hills. Apparently, half the originally proposed turbines have been lobbed off the scheme - as they were on the Sleeping Beauty Mountain and in the South Lewis / Harris / North Uist Scenic Area. Also, the type of turbines will be changed, namely to a variety that has a higher electricity output. Reading the article on Hebrides News (linked to above) requires a contents warning - have a waste paper bag ready.
It is to be expected that this will be rubberstamped by our local authority. There are only two more obstacles to clear: approval by Scottish Ministers and the outcome of a public inquiry into the Eishken Windfarm, which is already 6 months overdue. I wonder whose hands this hot potato will finally emerge from. It should also be noted that approval of this windfarm will also make the interconnector (mainland subsea powercable) an economically viable proposition. As I have noted before, the interconnector will not be able to be built if the Beauly to Denny high voltage power link is not upgraded. This too is subject of a public inquiry, whose result is equally eagerly awaited.
Perhaps I didn't read the small print at the time, but it transpires that the community part of the Eishken Windfarm requires the input of a mere twenty million pounds from said community. I have great difficulty keeping the sarcasm at bay here, but knowing Lochs, and more particularly South Lochs, I somehow don't really see that happening in a hurry.
I realise that Arnish Lighthouse could be accused of Comhairle-bashing in recent times, but I can only hope that the Eishken Windfarm (which nobody really wants) goes the same way as the ferry-not-on-Sunday stance from the local authority - out with the tide.