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Planning submission


In March 2021, RES submitted a Section 36 application for consent to the Scottish Government’s Energy Consents Unit for a revised 16-turbine wind farm proposal at Cairn Duhie. More information can be found by viewing the links and documents below.

Planning Statement (1.2MB) Examines the national and local planning policy context for Cairn Duhie Wind Farm, and the balance which needs to be struck between the need for wind energy development and the effect of the proposed development on the local environment. It also takes account of the benefits which could arise from the construction and operation of the development.

Design and Access Statement (2.5MB) A short, illustrated report which shows how design considerations have been integral to the proposed development.

Pre-Application Consultation (PAC) Report (9MB) Explains how and when the community was consulted before the planning application for Cairn Duhie was submitted to the Scottish Government’s Energy Consents Unit and how RES has responded to questions raised by the community regarding the proposal.

Non-Technical Summary (5.4MB) Summarises the application and contains the key findings from the Environmental Impact Assessment Report.

Environmental Impact Assessment Report Volume 1: Written Statement (8.9MB) This is a lengthy written document, separated into topic chapters, which summarises the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) work undertaken. It examines the potential effects of the wind farm upon the environment, wildlife and people and explains how RES will minimise any impacts. Associated figures (drawings and maps) are also contained within Volume 1.

Figures

Environmental Impact Assessment Report Volume 2: NatureScot Visualisations - wirelines and photomontages (to NatureScot specifications) which help to give an impression of what the proposal could look like from a number of agreed viewpoints in the area:

Environmental Impact Assessment Report Volume 3: The Highland Council Visualisations - wirelines and photomontages (to The Highland Council specifications) which help to give an impression of what the proposal could look like from a number of agreed viewpoints in the area:

Environmental Impact Assessment Report Volume 4: Technical appendices- the data which supports the other volumes of the Environmental Impact Assessment Report:


Due to Covid-19 restrictions, RES has not placed any hard copies of the planning documents in public viewing locations. However, the planning documents (listed above) can be viewed and/or downloaded individually or downloaded together in ‘zipped’ files by clicking on the links below (you will need appropriate software to open the zipped files and view its contents).

In addition, hard copies of the Non-Technical Summary and electronic copies of the Environmental Impact Assessment Report are available by contacting RES.

Additional Information

In December 2021, RES submitted additional information to Scottish Ministers in relation to the Section 36 application (submitted in March 2021) for the revised Cairn Duhie Wind Farm proposal.

The additional information relates to the setting of a scheduled monument and a change to abstraction of a private water supply. It can be viewed below, together with a copy of the public notice advertising the submission of this information into planning:

Copies of this information are available by contacting RES.

Commenting on the proposal

The application and associated documents are available to view on the Scottish Government’s Energy Consents Unit’s website at www.energyconsents.scot and the application reference number is ECU00003225.

All previous representations received by Scottish Ministers in relation to the above application will still be considered.

A statutory consultation period is underway for any new representations (in light of the recently submitted additional information) to enable the public, as well as statutory consultees, to submit their comments. The closing date for representations is 11th January 2022, although Ministers may consider representations received after this date.

Representations on the application may be submitted to the Energy Consents Unit (ECU) in the following ways:

  • Online: via the ECU’s website at www.energyconsents.scot/Register.aspx
  • Email: by emailing the ECU mailbox at representations_mailbox@gov.scot
  • Post: by writing to the Scottish Government, Energy Consents Unit, 4th Floor, 5 Atlantic Quay, 150 Broomielaw, Glasgow, G2 8LU (please note that there may be a delay in the Energy Consents Unit receiving representations by post)

All representations need to identify the project (Cairn Duhie Wind Farm) and specify the grounds for representation. Written or emailed representations should be dated, clearly stating the name (in block capitals), full return email and postal addresses of those making representations. Only representations sent by email to representations_mailbox@gov.scot will receive acknowledgement.

These representations will then be assessed against the proposal and a determination made by Scottish Ministers in due course. Any subsequent additional information which is submitted by RES will be subject to a further public notice (which will also explain how to make further representations). As a result of a statutory objection from the relevant planning authority, or where Scottish Ministers decide to exercise their discretion to do so, Scottish Ministers can also cause a Public Local Inquiry (PLI) to be held.

General Data Protection Regulations: The Scottish Government’s Energy Consents Unit processes consent applications and consultation representations under the Electricity Act 1989. During the process, to support transparency in decision making, the Scottish Government publishes online at www.energyconsents.scot. A privacy notice is published on the help page at www.energyconsents.scot which explains how the Energy Consents Unit processes your personal information. If you have any concerns about how your personal data is handled, please email EconsentsAdmin@gov.scot.

Reasons to support the revised Cairn Duhie Wind Farm proposal

Cairn Duhie lies in an area which has been identified as having ‘potential for wind farm development’ within Highland Council’s Spatial Framework policy. The site also good wind speeds, straightforward access from the A939, as well no international or national nature designations.

From a socio-economic perspective, the project is predicted to deliver around £4.4 million of inward investment to the local area in the form of jobs, employment, and use of local services. In addition, the project would deliver around £21 million in business rates to The Highland Council over its lifetime.

With the ever-growing threat of climate change and the catastrophic impacts it could have, it is imperative that we deliver renewable electricity as efficiently as possible and at the lowest cost to consumers. If consented, Cairn Duhie would be capable of generating clean, low-cost renewable electricity for around 52,000 homes - contributing to Scotland’s target of 50% energy consumption from renewables by 2030 and helping towards tackling the pressing issue of climate change.

We’ve also been listening to people’s feedback over the last year or so as we’ve developed the proposal and maintaining a regular dialogue with the host Community Council, East Nairnshire, to keep them informed about the proposal. In early March 2020, RES undertook door-to-door visits in Ferness village in order to engage with residents and raise awareness of the proposal. An online exhibition and consultation was launched in May 2020 to engage with the local community - attracting over 220 ‘unique visits’ to the online exhibition page on the day that it was launched and a wide range of feedback, with over 65% of comments forms received confirming that people were ‘supportive’ or ‘strongly supportive’ of the revised, optimised design for Cairn Duhie Wind Farm. During the development of the project RES also issued a project newsletter to local households within 5km of the site in order to keep people up to date.

RES has also been exploring some of the ideas and opportunities for local benefit which were suggested in people’s feedback from the online exhibition. Based on the feedback received, we have decided to prioritise discounting the annual electricity bills of residents living closest to the proposal as this was the preferred opportunity, however, we will also continue to work with the community to investigate other meaningful forms of local benefit which were raised during conversations locally – including opportunities to maximise inward investment to the area from Cairn Duhie, particularly during construction.

If, having read the above, you would like to support the revised Cairn Duhie Wind Farm proposal, you can do so by following the instructions in the section above titled ‘Commenting on the Proposal’.