A councillor was facing court action this week (Tuesday April 23rd) over contraventions of planning conditions under an enforcement notice issued by his own council.

Councillor Calum MacMillan, councillor for Barra, Vatersay, Eriskay and South Uist, faces charges under the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997 over noise levels from a wind turbine installed on his croft at Bornish, South Uist.

The turbine was described by complainants as having been active between night hours – 11pm to 7am – and during quiet waking hours of 6pm to 11pm every day, 7am to 6pm on Sunday and 1pm to 6pm on Saturday, contravening the planning conditions relating to noise levels from the turbine.

In 2017 Comhairle nan Eilean Siar commissioned an independent report on noise levels from specialist energy consultancy TNEI. The consultants measured levels at the properties of three complainants concerning the noise and their report confirmed that the noise emitted by the turbine was in excess of levels permitted by planning conditions.

An enforcement notice was first issued to Councillor Macmillan, his wife Lynne and the companies of which they are directors – Torranais Ltd and Hebridean Energy Ltd, on March 28th 2018.

It requested them to comply with the planning conditions by ceasing operation of the turbine during night hours and quiet waking hours by 10th May 2018.

The notice concluded: “Failure to comply … can result in prosecution and/or remedial action by the council.”

In court at Lochmaddy this week no plea was made and the case was continued to May 21st.