Hydro scheme application resubmitted after mistake

A mistake by Scotland's environmental watchdog have meant planned changes to a hydro power scheme have been resubmitted for planning permission.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) said this week it had accepted a resubmitted application from Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) to restart the process of applying to vary its licence for the Tummel hydro electric scheme.

According to SEPA due to it making an ‘administrative error’ the previous application from SSE could not be decided within the time frame.

And, as a result of the time frame slipping the application was refused in May this year.

The refusal of the application occurred automatically because the agreed determination period had expired and a further extension had not been requested.

SEPA will now begin reviewing the new application, which is exactly the same as the one previously submitted, and will be contacting anyone who sent in responses to the previous consultation to explain how to resubmit their information.

SEPA water specialist and lead officer for the application, Pauline Silverman, said

“The current application submitted by SSE proposes a complex redistribution of water within the hydropower scheme area in order to guarantee flows in burns that are often seen to dry up in places, such as the River Garry and the Allt Cuaich.

“We have a fine balancing act to make sure water flows are maintained in rivers and burns within the scheme plans, and to ensure the interests of all water users are heard and considered.”

A copy of the environmental statement and the proposals can be viewed online here or in person at SEPA’s office at Broxden Business Park, Lamberkine Drive, Perth.

Luke Walsh

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