Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) has advised that a proposed 12-turbine extension to a windfarm on a Lewis estate could be accommodated if six turbines are removed.
They believe the proposal for the Muaitheabhal Windfarm south extension as it stands would have an adverse effect on the integrity of the South Lewis, Harris and North Uist National Scenic Area (NSA) and on wild land.
However this impact could be addressed by reducing the number of turbines by six.
This would meet the Scottish Planning Policy requirement to demonstrate the proposal would not significantly and adversely affect designated areas, wild land or protected species.
SNH say the proposal for 12 turbines would affect white tailed eagles and golden eagles, however a six turbine scheme, taken in conjunction with existing and consented windfarms in the area, is unlikely to threaten overall populations of the two species.
Andrew Bachell, SNH’s Director of Operations, said: “Due to the likely impact of the 12 turbine proposal we have advised that turbines numbered one to six and their associated infrastructure, including the proposed substation near turbine six, be removed.
“This would reduce the impacts sufficiently that we would not object to the proposal.”