Con­cern over pro­posed Glen­coe hy­dro scheme

The Oban Times - - NEWS - by Neill Bo Fin­layson nfin­layson@oban­

Glen­coe res­i­dents have raised con­cerns over a pro­posed new hy­dro-elec­tric scheme close to the vil­lage.

Glen Hy­dro has sub­mit­ted plans to High­land Coun­cil to build a run of river hy­dro scheme on the Allt Fhiod­han river, a trib­u­tary to the River Coe and the ap­pli­ca­tion is now un­der con­sid­er­a­tion by coun­cil­lors.

The de­vel­op­ment would be ap­prox­i­mately one kilo­me­tre south­west of the Glen­coe Camp­ing and Car­a­van Site, just out­side Glen­coe vil­lage.

Con­struc­tion of the scheme will in­clude bury­ing pipe­lines and build­ing ac­cess tracks across the site. Ac­cess to the site will be via the A82 trunk road, us­ing a new en­trance from the A82 for the tur­bine house area and the ex­ist­ing en­trance to Glen­coe Vis­i­tor Cen­tre and camp­site for the re­main­der of the site.

If plan­ning is ap­proved, the scheme will gen­er­ate power equiv­a­lent to the av­er­age elec­tric­ity use of 220 homes.

How­ever, some vil­lagers have ex­pressed con­cerns over the im­pact of the scheme on sur­round­ing rivers, streams and burns. Some res­i­dents also felt the con­sul­ta­tion process was in­ad­e­quate.

One wor­ried lo­cal res­i­dent, who wished to re­main anony­mous, told the Lochaber Times: ‘There are a lot of con­cerns about what this would mean for the In­veri­gan burn, which is an im­por­tant trib­u­tary of the River Coe. There had been no pub­lic meet­ings as far as I am aware and some peo­ple say they have never re­ceived neigh­bour no­ti­fi­ca­tions about the plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion.’

Chair­man of Glen­coe and Glen Etive Com­mu­nity Coun­cil Alis­ter Suther­land said Glen Hy­dro had at­tended a meet­ing with com­mu­nity coun­cil­lors to ex­plain the pro­posed scheme. Mr Suther­land con­firmed the com­mu­nity coun­cil has no ob­jec­tions to the ap­pli­ca­tion.

The pro­posed scheme lies within the Ben Nevis and Glen­coe Na­tional Scenic Area, how­ever a full land­scape and vis­ual im­pact as­sess­ment is not re­quired.

In the com­pany’s de­sign state­ment, Glen Hy­dro said: ‘The pro­posal has been de­signed to min­imise vis­ual im­pact and with pro­posed mit­i­ga­tions all land­scape and vis­ual ef­fects dur­ing con­struc­tion would be tem­po­rary and no im­por­tant ef­fects would re­main by year five. The site lies on land owned by Forestry Com­mis­sion Scot­land and it is in­tended that a lease will be agreed for the rights to de­velop and op­er­ate the scheme. The area is cur­rently used for com­mer­cial forestry pur­poses.

The pro­posed Allt Fhiod­han hy­dro de­vel­op­ment will be lo­cated just over one kilo­me­tre from Glen­coe vil­lage, to the left of the pho­to­graph shown here.

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