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United Kingdom

Helmsdale inquiry set for October

A planning inquiry into two controversial wind farms at Helmsdale on the north east coast of Scotland has been set for the autumn. In two separate developments, Danish wind turbine manufacturer Micon and England's Renewable Energy Systems plan to build 20 turbines at West Garty and 17 at Gartymore respectively. The applications were called in by the Scottish Secretary Michael Forsyth despite gaining approval from the local Highland Council. The Scottish Office may also have to consider plans for yet another wind farm in Helmsdale following an appeal by Borderwind against the Highland Council's rejection of its application for eight turbines at Crakaig. The inquiry -- which had been widely expected for May -- was put back after the applicants and Highland Council called for more time to prepare. It is now scheduled to begin on October 7 and is expected to run for more than a month. Opponents to the schemes who had hoped for an earlier outcome are disappointed at the delay

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