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Scottish Government to block wind farm plan

Two fingers to Isle of Lewis turbines

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The Scottish Government will reject plans to build a 181-turbine wind farm on the Isle of Lewis, according to the BBC's Gaelic news service Radio nan Gaidheal.

The £500m project, proposed by Lewis Wind Power, was approved in February 2007 by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles Council) members, who voted 18 to eight in favour.

However, the final decision rests with the Scottish Government, which received more than 5,000 letters objecting to the plan. Campaigners warned of "irreversible damage" to one of the country's "most important wetland sites", while the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds was concerned at the possible impact on local wildlife.

The scheme's supporters had pointed to the economic benefits of the farm, claiming it would create over 400 jobs.

Back in 2006, the Trade and Industry secretary Alistair Darling announced the go-ahead for a 140-turbine farm at Eaglesham Moor, south of Glasgow - due to be up and running by 2009.

On that occasion, Eaglesham Community Council "objected to the scheme on the grounds of its size and location, although the area's local authorities did not oppose the development", as the BBC reported. ®

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