Scottish Ministers granted consent for this wind farm in April 2018. We are desperately disappointed with this decision.
Strathy South is right in the heart of the Flow Country, an area of incredible natural beauty and home to iconic, but threatened species like red-throated divers, hen harriers, greenshanks and the rare wood sandpiper. The natural beauty of the Flow Country and its importance for wildlife has been recognised in its consideration for UNESCO World Heritage Status.
The area SSE wants to develop is a pocket of land which was planted in the 1980s for commercial forestry on peat bog. Today, much of the once forested land around Strathy South has been returned to its former glory as active bog. All the areas surrounding the proposed development site are protected for nature, designated as a Special Protection Area (SPA), Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and Ramsar site.
We believe that the site should be restored to the healthy peatland habitat it once was to re-create an extensive open habitat, unspoilt by either trees or turbines.
Our objection was backed by the Highland Council but the final decision to grant consent was made by Scottish Ministers, following a public inquiry at which RSPB has given evidence.
In August 2020, SSE submitted an application to the Scottish Government Energy Consents Unit (ECU) to vary the existing windfarm consent. This would increase the height of the turbines and extend the operational life of the development to 50 years. We are considering the current application and will respond to the ECU consultation.