The Oban Times
Concern over proposed Glencoe hydro scheme
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.