Giant Loch Lochy hydro plan gets go-ahead from council
A NEW £800 million hydro electric scheme capable of powering one million homes has cleared a major hurdle after being given the backing of Highland councillors.
SSE’s controversial Coire Glas proposal for Kilfinnan, to the north of Loch Lochy in Lochaber, would be Scotland’s largest ever hydro-electric and dam development, overlooking the Great Glen.
Despite massive opposition, Highland councillors gave the scheme the green light. If they had rejected the proposal, it would have led to an expensive public inquiry running over years. But the project now only needs ministerial approval which, given the Scottish Government’s pro-renewables stance, seems highly likely.
The development would involve the construction of a dam, reservoir, underground power station and water tunnels in the hills above Loch Lochy.
Objectors warned it would ruin the scenic beauty of the area and damage tourism.
But Highland Council’s south planning applications committee, which considered the proposal yesterday after a site visit the previous day, gave their approval.
However, there was opposition from local independent councillor Thomas MacLennan, who said: “Twelve HGV vehicles leaving the site very hour might not sound like much, but if you take a calculator to it, it will mean 90,000 vehicle movements, and 90,000 coming back to fill up.
“That’s just totally unacceptable.”
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Friday 24 May 2013
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