On Friday 27th April 2018, Scottish Ministers refused consent for our planned wind farm at Caplich.
We are disappointed by the decision and we maintain that this is a suitable site for development. It is 5km North of Oykel Bridge and within Strath Oykel which is characterised by commercial forestry and rolling moorland. The turbines have been proposed between two Sitka spruce plantations of more than 3,000 acres in size.
We first invested in this site in March 2012 following the release of The Highland Council’s Supplementary Guidance which defined it as being within a stage three, “Area of Search” for wind farm development. It is remote from the Assynt-Coigach National Scenic Area and at the time, it was not within an area of wild land.
The boundaries of wild land were redrawn by SNH in 2014. The Caplich site is now bisected by one such boundary. At the same time, Scottish Planning Policy 2014 gave enhanced protection to these areas. The Supplementary Guidance from the Highland Council was later revised, withdrawing the support which had originally been offered.
The site was also selected also for its separation from residents. There are no dwellings within 2km of any proposed turbines and there is no theoretical visibility to any nearby towns or villages.
A shared ownership of up to 10% of the wind farm company has been offered and agreements have been reached with two communities to deliver this.
We are extremely grateful to those who have supported the project.
The decision notice is available to view at: http://dpea.scotland.gov.uk/CaseDetails.aspx?id=117491