Highlands & Islands

Wind farm 'would affect Wick airport'

Aircraft engine
Image caption Approach procedures would need to be changed at Wick Airport

Changes would have to be made to aircraft approach procedures at an airport if a 30-turbine wind farm was approved, council papers show.

Highlands and Islands Airports (HIA) said it would need six months to make the alterations at Wick before any turbine construction at Spittal Hill.

Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) also has concerns about the scheme.

Planning officials at Highland Council have recommended that councillors do not object to the project.

Members of Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross planning committee will consider the application on 22 June.

Twenty-seven of the turbines would stand 110m (360ft) tall and a further three 100m (328ft) high in the plan submitted to the Scottish government.

Government-owned HIA said the cost of changing approach procedures should be paid for by the developer Spittal Wind Farm Limited.

Warning lights

It has also asked for red warning lights at the development.

SNH has concerns about the farm's impact on the landscape - which includes the Flow Country.

Since the application was made, the government agency has sought support for an idea to try and gain Unesco World Heritage status for the peatland.

The Scottish government has received 1,325 letters of objection to the project and 1,259 in support.

Objections included concerns about noise levels, while those in favour highlighted the benefits of renewable energy.

Papers sent to the planning committee have given details of 19 other wind projects within a 21-mile (35km) radius of the proposed site.

The other farms are at Forss, Causeymire, Boulfruich, Flexhill, Achairn, Baillie, Camster, Bettyhill, Strathy North, Strathy South, South Shebster, Hill of Lieurary, Burn of Whilk, Stroupster, Bower, Durran, Olgrinmore, Halsary and Wathegar.

The committee will visit Spittal Hill before deciding whether or not to raise an objection.

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