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United Kingdom

Helmsdale hearing winds up

The UK's longest running wind farm planning inquiry finally wound up at the end of November. Lasting six weeks, it is also the second longest inquiry in Scotland this year. The hearing into three separate proposed wind farms at Helmsdale in Sutherland examined evidence from some 37 witnesses. From Denmark, NEG Micon has plans to build 20 turbines at West Garty, Renewable Energy Systems (RES) in England hopes for 17 at Gartymore and Borderwind has plans for eight turbines at Crakaig. Its case, however, will be examined by written submission. Chris Shears from RES claims the developers' case went well. "We felt we had addressed all the issues that had been raised by opponents," he says. "And in terms of government and local policy, we have a very strong case." The Scottish Office reporter who conducted the inquiry, Philip Hutchinson, is not expected to announce his recommendations before next summer.

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