The Glen Ullinish Wind Farm is located to the south-east of Dunvegan on the Isle of Skye close to the operational wind farms at Ben Aketil and Edinbane. Green Cat Renewables was engaged as planning and environmental consultants to develop the project from initial conception, through project design, consultation, full EIA and eventual planning consent.
The final layout design is the result of an extensive and diligent design process which aimed to strike the optimum balance between minimising environmental impact, respecting engineering requirements and ensuring a viable scheme in terms of energy production. The key design principles behind the proposed scheme aimed to:
- Minimise and orient the wind farm envelope to limit any potential collision risk to sensitive bird species;
- Design a layout that will create a harmonious and sympathetic layout when viewed from key sensitive locations both on its own and considered alongside cumulative projects;
- Select a scale of wind turbine that will be in keeping with the surrounding landscape when viewed from key areas and in conjunction with notable landscape features;
- Minimise the potential risk of disruption to local archaeological remains present on site;
- Avoid or minimise the disruption to sensitive ecological and wetland habitats; and
- Incorporate suitable mitigation measures, where appropriate, to reduce predicted impacts down to acceptable levels.
Extensive pre-planning consultation was undertaken with The Highland Council and key consultees including SEPA, SNH and Historic Scotland. The pre-planning advice offered throughout the process was incorporated into the project design and closely followed in the EIA process.
Planning application submitted in October 2014 and following a positive recommendation from the planning officer was consented at The Highland Council North Area Planning Committee in March 2015.