David Ross
Highland Correspondent

Energy giant SSE is having to spend £2.5 million to silence the “Beauly
Buzz”, which has been disturbing residents in a small Highland community.

Some residents have complained the constant humming was keeping them awake
at night and others feared it could affect the value of their homes.

SSE was issued with a noise abatement notice by the Highland Council in
February to tackle the low-frequency humming sound from the Wester Balblair

This was after new equipment was installed as part of the upgrade of the
controversial 137 mile Beauly-to-Denny powerline. The first section of the
line between Beauly and Fort Augustus went live last year.

The company, which was initially sceptical about the level of noise, said
it would place acoustic jackets around individual components and then
install an acoustic barrier around the entire equipment.

SSE has now confirmed this will cost around £2.5 million to do.

Steve Byford, chairman of the local community council, said the high cost
of repair was a problem of SSE’s own making

Meanwhile another £1m is having to be spent on acoustic barriers for
equipment associated with the power line near Fort Augustus.

David Gardner, SSE’s transmissions director, admitted this week that the
problem could tarnish the company’s reputation.

He said: “It takes time to find solutions because of the complex nature of
the problem, but we are taking this very seriously. It is difficult for me
to have to try to manage and it is not good for our reputation.”

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