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Strathdearn Community Website

Thanks to those who came along to the site visit this morning - unfortunately most of the Cllrs who came today were not for interacting with the community, unlike those on the September visit.

I'm afraid the substation was approved by 19 votes to 4 with one abstention. Not a good result. No cognisance was given to the community's objection and all the issues raised by objectors were brushed aside.

It's disappointing to find so few are concerned about protection of the heritage and culture of the strath - but then the majority had never been here before and probably won't be here again.

Much was made by the planning officer and SSE of the wonderful screening the trees will provide. Unfortunately SSE has no control over the commercial woodland and it is likely to be felled at any time.

Visuals showing the powerlines carrying the 275kV line over the hill to the substation confirm the impact the monster pylons will have (up to 55.5m high).

garbole meetingLooking for some positives - at least this ugly complex will not be right beside the Garbole Bridge and construction traffic will come in via the Farr wind farm haul road. (Operational traffic will use the Glen road.)

SSE's response to the criticism of its poor environmental survey and failure to identify over 40 protected species found at site 5 by our ecologist, had the cheek to say they would use Dr Jones's report to inform their future survey work. Maybe they would like to contribute to his fee!

One Cllr. said SSE and locals should form a Community Liaison Group so that the community could have some influence on what happens. For what it's worth this has been added as a condition of planning approval.

It's all very disappointing - another beautiful, peaceful place in the Highlands despoiled by an industrial development. It was a done deal today - SSE desperate to get approval in order to start work and be up and running by 2018 and Highland Council not wanting to fight another appeal if the application was refused. Sadly, it appears democracy is dead in the water at present.

Thanks to everyone who has helped fight this development over the last three years. Time now for me to take a break.



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