Government to be applauded over decision on Lewis wind farm proposal

The Scottish Government is to be applauded for its courageous decision to refuse permission for the Lewis wind farm, despite substantial pressure from the developer (your report, 26 January).

It would appear that the decision was taken on environmental grounds and because of the considerable concern expressed by the European Commission. The implications for other wind farms must be obvious.

Campaigners had consistently warned that this wind farm would cause "irreversible damage" to one of the country's most important wetland sites. In addition, the RSPB also opposed the project, disputing job figures put forward by developers and raising concerns about the farm's impact on local wildlife.

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However, it needs to be remembered that there are other wind farm applications such as at Edinbane on the Isle of Skye, Dava Moor and Gordon Bush where the same reasons for refusal would apply and the Scottish Government needs to take this into account, bearing in mind that the European Commission is also concerned about these potential developments.


Kerrol Farm

Edinbane, Isle of Skye

On the shores of the Moray Firth, four windturbines erected by the local community are visible, each of which is no more than 47 metres to the vertical blade tip. These turbines generate both power and income for the local community. They reduce demand on the UK electricity grid. This is the best way to meet our targets for carbon emission reduction, according to the UK's Sustainable Development Commission. Fewer than ten people objected to these turbines when planning approval was sought. They fit in rather than dominating the landscape. It is the way forward for land based wind energy development.

It is absurd for your editorial (26 January) to suggest that the SNP government has a duty to support massive windfarms on the Isle of Lewis and imply that there are no alternatives if the ambitious renewable energy targets for 2020 are to be met. So says every developer facing opposition.


Director, Ramblers Association Scotland

Auld Mart Business Park

Milnathort, Kinross

Donald MacLeod (Letters, 24 January) claims that the decision of the Scottish Land Court, of 15 August 2007, recognised that interposed leases are invalid in a crofting context. He notes that "the court established as a precedent that there could not be a valid interposed lease over common grazings", but this is not what was decided in this case. In fact, the exact opposite view was taken.

The Court found that the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003, as passed, only allowed a crofting community body to acquire land subject to any legal interest already encumbering that land (including interposed leases). It was held that the eccentricities of crofting tenure did not apply to restrict leases of common grazings or interposed leases of a crofting estate, and the lack of consent from the Crofters Commission prior to entry did not invalidate such interposed leases.


Bryson Road


Contrary to your report (26 January), the Outer Hebrides' electricity needs might presumably be met by nine turbines, but only if they rotated 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.


Orkney Islands Council

Kirkwall, Orkney