Planning permission granted for Bernera wind turbines

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PLANNING permission has been granted for the construction of two 900kW wind turbines at Kirkibost, Bernera, despite a large number of objections.

The development is planned on a site which will be visible on the landscape and due to its proximity to the Callanish Stones, many have raised concerns.

At a meeting of the full Comhairle tonight (Wednesday), councillors overturned the decision of last week’s Environment and Protective Services Committee following an amendment put forward by Cllr DJ Macsween.

Mr Macsween called for permission to be granted and said this was a small ‘almost insignificant’ development.

In seconding him, Cllr Maciver said its refusal could have a ‘huge detrimental effect on other developments in the area’.

Vice Chair of the Environment and Protective Services Committee Kenneth M Murray - who took over from Chair Cllr Norman M Macdonald who declared an interest and left the chamber - pushed for the refusal to remain in place and said to change it would lead to a call-in by the Scottish Ministers.

He said the development was on a site which was ‘a jewel in the crown of sites in the Western Isles.’

A petition of 98 signatures was submitted objecting to the plan along with 12 representations.

Although there was some support for the development most of the

representations objected to the development for reasons relating to tourism, the

economy, crofting, visual impact, landscape, natural and built heritage, noise, planning policy and transportation.

Councillors voted to support Cllr Macsween’s motion.