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Planning Process

Planning submission

In February 2021, RES submitted a Section 36 application for consent to the Scottish Government’s Energy Consents Unit for a 15-turbine wind farm proposal at Kintradwell, approximately 8km north of Brora. The application reference number is ECU00002217 and more information can be found below.

Planning Statement (3MB) - examines the national and local planning policy context for Kintradwell 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.

Pre-Application Consultation (PAC) Report (3.5MB) - explains how and when the community was consulted before the planning application for Kintradwell Wind Farm was submitted to the Scottish Government’s Energy Consents Unit and how RES has responded to questions raised by the community regarding the proposal.

Environmental Impact Assessment Report Volume 1: Non-Technical Summary (1MB) - summarises the application and contains the key findings from the Environmental Impact Assessment Report.

Environmental Impact Assessment Report Volume 2: Written Statement (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 2 except in respect of the Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment (LVIA) figures and visualisations which are found in Volumes 3 to 5.

Figures:

  1. Introduction (2MB)
  2. Proposed Development (9MB)
  3. Design Evolution (6.5MB)
  4. Planning and Policy (0.5MB)
  5. Archaeology and Cultural Heritage (2MB)
  6. Terrestrial Ecology (6MB)
  7. Ornithology (12MB)
  8. Geology, Hydrology and Hydrogeology (5.5MB)
  9. Traffic and Transport (1MB)
  10. Noise (2MB)

Environmental Impact Assessment Report Volume 3: LVIA Figures - the figures (drawings and maps) which support the written chapter of the Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment (LVIA): 

  1. LVIA Figures Part 1 (7.5MB)
  2. LVIA Figures Part 2 (18MB)
  3. LVIA Figures Part 3 (8MB)
  4. LVIA Figures Part 4 (10MB)
  5. LVIA Figures Part 5 (17MB)

Environmental Impact Assessment Report Volume 4: 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:

  1. Viewpoint 1 - Doll (13MB)
  2. Viewpoint 2 -  Lower Brora (11MB)
  3. Viewpoint 3 - Victoria Road (A9), North Brora (11.5MB)
  4. Viewpoint 4 - Beinn Dhorain (8.5MB)
  5. Viewpoint 5 - Creag Nam Fiadh (10MB)
  6. Viewpoint 6 - Hope Hill (8MB)
  7. Viewpoint 7 - Track to Ben Armine Lodge (7.5MB)
  8. Viewpoint 8 - Brora to Rogart Minor Road near Sciberscross (12.5MB)
  9. Viewpoint 9 - Brora to Rogart Minor Road near Dalreavoch (11MB)
  10. Viewpoint 10 - Craggie Beg (10MB)
  11. Viewpoint 11 - Ben Horn (10MB)
  12. Viewpoint 12 - Ben Bhraggie (9.5MB)
  13. Viewpoint 13 - Viewing Point on Minor Road near Skelbo Castle (11MB)
  14. Viewpoint 14 - Dornoch, Coastal Footpath near Royal Dornoch Gold Club (13.5MB)
  15. Viewpoint 15 - Portmahomack (10.5MB)
  16. Viewpoint 16 - Dornoch Firth Bridge (6MB)
  17. Viewpoint 17 - A897, Kinbrace (6.5MB)
  18. Viewpoint 18 - B871 (7MB)

Environmental Impact Assessment Report Volume 5: 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:

  1. Viewpoint 1 - Doll (5MB)
  2. Viewpoint 2 -  Lower Brora (4.5MB)
  3. Viewpoint 3 - Victoria Road (A9), North Brora (5MB)
  4. Viewpoint 4 - Beinn Dhorain (4MB)
  5. Viewpoint 5 - Creag Nam Fiadh (4MB)
  6. Viewpoint 6 - Hope Hill (3MB)
  7. Viewpoint 7 - Track to Ben Armine Lodge (3.5MB)
  8. Viewpoint 8 - Brora to Rogart Minor Road near Sciberscross (5MB)
  9. Viewpoint 9 - Brora to Rogart Minor Road near Dalreavoch (5MB)
  10. Viewpoint 10 - Craggie Beg (4.5MB)
  11. Viewpoint 11 - Ben Horn (4MB)
  12. Viewpoint 12 - Ben Bhraggie (4.5MB)
  13. Viewpoint 13 - Viewing Point on Minor Road near Skelbo Castle (3.5MB)
  14. Viewpoint 14 - Dornoch, Coastal Footpath near Royal Dornoch Gold Club (4MB)
  15. Viewpoint 15 - Portmahomack (3MB)
  16. Viewpoint 16 - Dornoch Firth Bridge (4MB)
  17. Viewpoint 17 - A897, Kinbrace (4.5MB)
  18. Viewpoint 18 - B871 (3.5MB)

Environmental Impact Assessment Report Volume 6: Technical Appendices - the data which supports the other volumes of the Environmental Impact Assessment Report:

  1. Contents (150KB)
  2. Proposed Development (5MB)
  3. Approach to EIA (13.5MB)
  4. Landscape and Visual (8.5MB)
  5. Archaeology and Cultural Heritage (400KB)
  6. Ecology (15.5MB)
  7. Ornithology (2.5MB)
  8. Geology, Hydrology and Hydrogeology (10.5MB)
  9. Traffic and Transport (5MB)
  10. Noise (2MB)
  11. Climate Change (300KB)

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).

  1. Volume 1, Volume 2 Text and Other Supporting Documents (15.5MB)
  2. Volume 2 Figures (40.5MB)
  3. Volume 3 Part 1 (33.5MB)
  4. Volume 3 Part 2 (26MB)
  5. Volume 4 Part 1 (43MB)
  6. Volume 4 Part 2 (46.5MB)
  7. Volume 4 Part 3 (38.5MB)
  8. Volume 4 Part 4 (42MB)
  9. Volume 5 Part 1 (41.5MB)
  10. Volume 5 Part 2 (29MB)
  11. Volume 6 Part 1 (40MB)
  12. Volume 6 Part 2 (18MB)

In addition, hard copies of the Non-Technical Summary and electronic copies of the Environmental Statement are available free of charge 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 ECU00002217.

A statutory consultation period is underway to enable the public, as well as statutory consultees, to submit their comments on the proposal. The closing date for representations is Wednesday 7th April 2021, although Ministers may consider representations received after this date.

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

  • Online: via the ECU’s website at www.energyconsents.scot/Register.aspx
  • Email: by emailing the ECU mailbox at representations@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 (Kintradwell 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@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 Econsents_admin@gov.scot.

Reasons to support the Kintradwell Wind Farm proposal

Kintradwell has good wind speeds, straightforward access off the A9, and is close to a grid connection point.

From a socio-economic perspective, the project is predicted to deliver around £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 £18.5 million in business rates to The Highland Council over its lifetime.

We’ve also been listening to people’s feedback over the last year or so as we’ve developed the proposal. In September 2019, RES held a public exhibition in Brora in order to engage with residents and raise awareness of the proposal. Over 50 people attended, and more than 30 comments forms were handed in. One of the key themes from the feedback was that people wanted to see real local jobs being delivered from the project and so in November 2020, RES partnered with Brora-based civil contracting firm Edward Mackay Contractors and signed an agreement giving Edward Mackay right of first refusal on the civil construction work for the proposed scheme – helping to secure valuable local jobs and employment opportunities for local people should the project receive consent. Edward Mackay Contractors employs around 100 local staff from areas such as Brora, Golspie and Helmsdale, and has extensive wind farm experience.

From an environmental perspective, 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. New onshore wind and large scale solar are now the cheapest forms of electricity generation1 and, if consented, Kintradwell would be capable of generating clean, low-cost renewable electricity for around 70,000 homes2 - contributing to Scotland’s target of 50% energy consumption from renewables by 2030 and helping towards tackling the pressing issue of climate change.

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

 

1 Electricity Generation Costs - Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, August 2020

2 The 70,000 homes equivalent figure has been calculated by taking the predicted annual electricity generation of the site (based on RES assessments Kintradwell has a predicted capacity factor of 45.4% - based on a 4.2MW candidate turbine) and dividing this by the annual average electricity figures from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) showing that the annual UK average domestic household consumption is 3,578 kWh (December 2020). Final wind farm capacity will vary depending on the outcome of planning permission and the turbine type selected.