Reay residents have turned out in force to voice their fears that their
village will end up encircled by “a ring of steel”.

They were appearing at the public session at the end of a public local
inquiry into plans for two wind farms involving a total of 38 turbines,
each between 125 and 140 metres high.

More than 80 people packed the village hall which followed six days of
evidence given at the hearing in Caithness Horizons in Thurso.

Objections ranged from the impact the developments at Limekiln and Drum
Hollistan would have on the landscape, rare birds and property values to
noise, shadow flicker and their perceived deterrent effect on tourism, and
in particular the North Coast 500.

According to Reay Area Wind Farm Opposition Group, Caithness is already at
saturation point with turbines.

Resident David Craig said the Limekiln turbines are significantly larger
than any others in the area.

He said: “We are already feeling surrounded by turbines – and we are not
unique in that across the country – the ‘ring of steel’ has been reported

“The views of the Reay community are quite clear – we do not want

Nature lover Eric Maughan said both wind farm sites border the East
Halladale Flows area, large parts of which are designated as a Special
Protection Area due to their internationally important bird populations.

He said: “We should never allow what will be amongst the largest wind
turbines to be built anywhere in Scotland to be planted in this most
picturesque of landscapes.”

The inquiry closed on Wednesday with site visits with Scottish Government
reporters Andrew Fleming and Christopher Warren to submit their
recommendations to Scottish Ministers in due course.

SAS Volunteer

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