Berry Burn 2

Known originally as Cairn Kitty Wind Farm, sitting as it does on the slopes of this iconic Moray landmark.

Berry Burn Windfarm is owned & operated by Statkraft of Norway in a joint venture with Gingko Tree (the sovereign wealth fund of China). Created in 2014 on the upper reaches of Altyre Estate it’s 20 turbines can be seen from many areas of Moray. In October 2018 an application was submitted to extend by a further 10 turbines sitting alongside Pauls Hill 1 & 2, Clashgour and Rothes 1, 2 & 3. If all elements are ultimately approved this conglomeration could amount to 300 turbines within a 5 mile radius of the headwaters of the River Lossie. The natural upland landscape will be destroyed beyond all recognition, massive amounts of peat will be disturbed, drainage dynamics across the area risk being impacted, bringing further risk to fish stocks in the Findhorn & Lossie rivers and potentially increasing flood risks.

Berry Burn 2 scoping process is currently underway and its likely they’ll soon launch a formal planning Application, as an extension of the original development. As things stand that original development currently commits less than HALF the Government’s recommended minimum Community Benefit so its our hope that they’ll put that right before seeking permission for any extensions.

It will then be interesting to see what cumulative impact from other existing applications they choose to reveal and what mitigation measures they propose for damage to peatland & threat to key wildlife species including hen harriers, ospreys and red throated divers. We hope they try harder than Clashgour & Rothes 3 in that respect. Airvolution Clean Energy Limited was incorporated in July 2017 and currently sits on net assets of £135,000 so it looks like a largely hollow front company that will vanish from the scene as soon as planning permission is secured, leaving another ‘management company’ (probably offshore) to contest commitments made on their behalf.

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Who’s behind the Berry Burn Development

Berry Burn Windfarm is owned & operated by Statkraft of Norway in a joint venture with Gingko Tree (the sovereign wealth fund of China). The original Berry Burn planning application was managed by Force 9 Energy who handed over the development soon after permission was secured. Force 9 have now moved on to try to secure permission for the neighbouring Clashgour development that is described as a ‘wrap around’ of Berry Burn - not a prospect they mentioned during the initial applications, that’s for sure!

When asked how many full time Moray jobs this damaging development sustained, they were reluctant to answer. We think the answer is less than one! They do have a more effective Community scheme than their neighbours at Rothes & Paul’s Hill but it nevertheless amounts to pennies per Moray resident, who by contrast are contributing millions through Contracts for Difference & Constraint Payments, whilst seeing our natural landscape destroyed and the broad appeal of Moray damaged beyond recognition.

Berry Burn 2 is now a real prospect, having gone to ‘scoping’ in late 2018 in a process being managed by Airvolution Clean Energy, with connections to Savills. They are seeking permission for an additional 10 turbines within metres of the proposed Clashgour development, making a mockery of Scottish Government’s own recommendations for Spatial Separation between developments and mitigation of Cumulative impact.

This development is being made possible by the collaboration of Altyre Estate.

Its too early to lodge any formal objection and its pointless trying to engage directly with developers but definitely worth making your views known to your Community Councillors & County Councillors, so they’re aware of local concern.

The most directly affected Community Councils are Finderne, Heldon (particularly the Dallas area) & Speyside

The Moray Councillors for the Clashgour area are Derek Ross & Louise Laing.

The Save Wild Moray team can be contacted on: hub@savewildmoray.com