© 2015 EFR Scotland Ordnance Survey © Crown copyright 2015 All rights reserved. Licence number 100048765

© 2015 EFR Scotland Ordnance Survey © Crown copyright 2015 All rights reserved. Licence number 100048765

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Druim Ba Windfarm

Druim Ba, Druim Ba Sustainable Energy

Druim Ba Sustainable Energy (DBSE), previously submitted a section 36 (s36) application for a 23 turbine wind farm on the Blairmore Estate in 2011 - the original Druim Ba wind farm. Following refusal of this original Druim Ba application, an application for a smaller 10 turbine scheme was submitted in September 2015.

As part of the application documents for the revised Druim Ba submission, OPEN was responsible for the Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment (LVIA) of the windfarm, the production of a comprehensive Design and Access Statement (DAS) and the production of dual sets of visualisations, compliant with both SNH guidance and the Highland Council standard for 25 viewpoints. Additional comparative visualisations were also produced for the DAS to show the design improvement of the revised Druim Ba wind farm when compared to the original wind farm layout.

The Site is visually well-contained with the local landform in and around the Druim Ba site limiting visibility to the east and south. The steeply rising sides of the Great Glen act as a barrier resulting in no potential views of the Druim Ba proposal from Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle with views from other glens in the area such as Strathglass and Glen Affric limited in a similar way.

The LVIA assessed the potential significant effects of the revised scheme which includes 10 turbines with maximum blade tip height of 126m with a total installed capacity of 30MW and associated infrastructure. The design and Access Statement focussed on key strategic design objectives addressing the reasons for refusal of the original wind farm. The windfarm design was driven by landscape and visual considerations and the production of the LVIA and DAS has involved careful consideration of landscape character, landscape pattern and forestry, settlement and nearby properties, turbine scale and prominence, landform and topography and local visual amenity.