Hill of Towie Wind Farm extension secures planning

LDA Design has helped renewable energy company RES secure consent for the expansion of the Hill of Towie Wind Farm in Moray.

This decision, released in June, will increase the number of turbines at the wind farm from 21 to 37, generating up to 48 MW of renewable energy – enough to power over 26,000 houses a year. It is expected that during the construction and first year of operation Hill of Towie II will create more than £4.4 million of inward investment.

The Scottish Government, which has an ambition to meet at least 50 per cent of the country’s overall energy demand from renewables by 2020, granted permission following the 2015 public inquiry. LDA Design’s Colin Goodrum served as an expert witness on landscape and visual matters during the inquiry.

LDA Design provided detailed analysis to mitigate concerns raised by Moray Council and Scotland’s Forestry Commission. A supplementary report provided information on woodland management and compensatory planting, as well as a new assessment of the landscape, including effects on character and views in the locality covering Speyside settlements such as Dufftown and Drummuir Castle. This expertise provided the basis for a successful outcome.

“Our to-the-point analysis was instrumental in securing this success,” commented LDA Design Managing Director, Colin Goodrum.

“We have over twenty years’ experience of working in the renewable energy sector and our expertise continues to inform and to help meet the challenges of our changing climate.”

This decision by the Scottish Government follows the green light given to increase the size of Banks Renewables’ Kype Muir Wind Farm in South Lanarkshire, adding a further 15 turbines. LDA Design provided the landscape and visual impact assessment, as well as advice throughout the design and application process. Adjacent to two consented wind farms, it was key to ensure the impact on the landscape was managed very carefully.

For further information, please contact Colin Goodrum.

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