The Highland Council’s North Planning Applications Committee has deferred making a decision on whether to support or object to the resubmitted Limekiln Wind Farm application.

Karen Lyons of The Highland Council told Members that: “Officers were made aware this morning that at around the time of finalisation of the report, SNH had briefed the Caithness members about the proposed Flow Country World Heritage Site, in respect of the blanket bog area between Caithness and Sutherland.

“This tentative site was submitted as such back in January 2012 and I understand that the Caithness members were advised by SNH in December 2016 that the site was now well advanced through this process.

“No mention of this matter has been made in SNH’s response to the application, therefore it is not a matter taken into account in the case officer’s report.

“What weight is to be given to this information is a difficult question to answer. Without clarification from SNH on the proposed timescales for consideration of the site by the advisory bodies and then the world heritage committee.

“For this reason my advice is that the application be deferred in order to seek further information and clarification from SNH via the Energy Consents Unit which is managing the planning application on behalf of Ministers.”

We are clearly disappointed with this further delay but it’s important that the democratic process is followed correctly. We look forward to SNH clarifying the position so that Members are able to make a fully informed decision.