Published: 17/03/2016 13:03 - Updated: 17/03/2016 13:05

Concerns over bridge and missing documents at Dava wind farm inquiry

There are plans for a 20 turbine wind farm north of Grantown (library image)
There are plans for a 20 turbine wind farm north of Grantown (library image)

 

Concerns over a "missing" document were raised yesterday at the Cairn Duhie inquiry for a wind farm north of Grantown.

The four-day public inquiry is being held at the town’s Grant Arms Hotel in the town into the plans for 20 turbines up to 110 metres high at the site.

The Scottish Government has been urged by objectors not to ignore the pleas of nearly 2,000 people when it comes to making its final decision on the wind farm planned for eight miles north of the Strathspey capital.

Campaigners claim that the turbines, some as close as 100 yards from the public road at places, will be the centrepiece of a cumulative curtain of steel that will embrace the Dava Moor and be visible for many miles in most directions.

"Do I have this document?" asked the Reporter Dannie Onn, as the Save Our Dava campaign produced the case they had presented in December 2013 to Highland Council.

Roy Hewett and Jeannie Munro could not believe that the supplementary information was not readily to hand on all sides of the chamber as they took issue with comments made by RES expert engineering witness, Kevin Martin of Aecom, about the certified strength of the Logie Bridge, which would be used for the transportation of the turbines in and out of the site.

Mr Martin had told the inquiry being held at the Grant Arms Hotel in Grantown that there would be no problem with the bridge but the Dava group contested that.

"It’s a 220-year-old masonry bridge which has never been tested, it’s never had traffic like this. You expected it to carry 140, 190 tonnes? If the community lose that bridge it could be terrible for both tourism and the community."

Acting for RES, Marcus Trinick QC refuted claims that strobing and shadow flicker would be a problem, and he was not swayed by fears that travellers prone to epileptic fits could suffer seizures while caught in between the sun and the windfarm.

But after the Dava group held up the document which had gone to Highland Council so long ago, raising all such issues, no-one seemed able to produce theirs. The Reporter was assured it would be there in his files and Mr Trinick confirmed there had only been confusion about one other, smaller document and not the Supplementary Information.

Mr Hewett told the Strathy: "This is utterly ridiculous. All these points were put to the Highland Council years ago and if they had all been properly addressed we probably wouldn’t even have to be here this afternoon, going over it all again."

The inquiry was due to end today (Thursday). The Reporter carried out a site visit on Tuesday.

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