Project Description


SITE

Creag Riabhach Wind Farm is located along the western side of the Strath Vagastie valley to the west of the A836, around 20km north of Lairg and around 6km south of Altnaharra.

The overall site covers 365ha and includes the main turbine array site and the smaller borrow pit site.

MAIN FEATURES

  • The Proposed Development comprises 22 no.wind turbines
  • The maximum tip height of each turbine is up to 125 metres
  • The maximum hub height is up to 80 metres
  • A rotor diameter of 90 metres is proposed
  • The proposals will include on-site access tracks, crane hard standing pads and lay down areas, a temporary site construction compound, cable trenches and a substation
  • The Proposed Development will have an operational life of 25 years
  • The maximum stated generating capacity of the turbines is 3.3MW per turbine
  • Access will be taken by a new track and bridge near to the existing Vagastie bridge at the existing informal lay-by
  • The on-site tracks have been designed to follow the natural site contours.

The proposed site layout is shown below.

Site Plan

VISUAL EXPERIENCE

The Creag Riabhach wind farm site is naturally well screened within the central Sutherland landscape with the principle views being from the only main road in the area - A836 Lairg to Tongue. There is no view of the proposal from the A838 Lairg to Lochinver road. Views from the 62km (38.5miles) route are limited to the immediate vicinity of the wind farm due to the natural topography, landscape and the orientation of the roadway.

A836 LAIRG - TONGUE NORTHBOUND Creag Riabhach wind farm will come into view from the high ground just before the Crask Bridge. It will then disappear from view at the Crask Inn before gradually re-appearing as the road climbs to the top of the Crask. From around the position of the mobile phone mast the entire Creag Riabhach wind farm will be visible for the only time on the journey.

This view is the southern gateway and the viewer will see a well ordered and simple to understand turbine array on the hillside in front of them. The roadway then descends to Vagastie bridge and only part of the turbine array will be visible. Strath Vagastie then opens up on the righthand side of the roadway after the roadside shelter belt ends as does the view of the western flank of Ben Klibreck. Within a further c.2km the entire Creag Riabhach wind farm will be behind the road user. The approximate length of roadway when Creag Riabhach wind farm will be either fully or partially in view from a northbound road user will be c.5.5km of the 62km journey.

A836 TONGUE - LAIRG SOUTHBOUND Creag Riabhach wind farm will come into view from the high ground where the road passes Loch Straing. This view is the northern gateway and the viewer will have a partial view of the turbine array at a distance of over 11km where they will be viewed in part, over the Creag Riabhach landform and against a backdrop of the sky. The road then descends and the partial view of the turbines will disappear before Altnaharra village is reached.

There will be no visibility through Altnaharra village and the turbines will become partially visible again upon entry into Strath Vagastie

The turbine array will remain partially in view until around Vagastie bridge. Thereafter, the entire Creag Riabhach wind farm will be behind the road user. The approximate length of roadway when Creag Riabhach wind farm will be partially in view from a southbound road user will be c.4km between Loch Straing and Altnaharra and c.8km in Strath Vagastie of the 62km journey.