Date lodged: 7 October 2016
To ask the Scottish Government what discussions it has had regarding the proposed Strathy South wind farm since February 2016 with (a) the applicants, (b) Scottish Natural Heritage, (c) The Highland Council and (d) the European Commission.
Answered by: Paul Wheelhouse 31 October 2016
A key function of the Public Local Inquiry was to allow all interested parties to engage in debate on the issues of key importance in an open forum. The Scottish Government wishes to avoid disadvantage to any interested party through holding closed discussions on substantive points outside of the inquiry, although we will continue to take into account representations on the application received regarding any relevant matter until a decision is taken.
The applicant has on numerous occasions requested updates on the timescale for a decision however no information has been given. The Scottish Government requested confirmation of the description of the development from the applicant which was received.
There have been no discussions with Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) about the proposal but SNH has provided the Scottish Government by email with a pro-forma appraisal of the impacts of the proposed development on the Caithness and Sutherland Peatlands SPA, SAC and Ramsar site consolidating the information it presented to the Public Local Inquiry. SNH has also informed the Scottish Government of the publication of a final version of a report presented to the Public Local Inquiry on Greenshank collision mortality estimates.