Balfour Beatty to rethink pylon workers’ camps

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A contractor for a major electricity line renewal scheme says it may have to look again at plans for workers’ camps in Furnace and near Whitehouse, despite withdrawing planning applications for the sites.

Civil engineering firm Balfour Beatty had planned to site 14 accommodation cabins in Furnace for two years to house workers on the electricity line upgrade between Inveraray and Crossaig in north Kintyre.

The company had also asked Argyll and Bute Council for permission to create a camp close to Whitehouse, south of Tarbert, for 60 temporary cabins for four years to December 2024.

The proposals attracted numerous letters of objection from residents in the respective communities, with Furnace and West Kintyre community councils formally objecting.

A similar camp has already been set up at Torran, near Ford, for contractors on the same project.

Balfour Beatty is employed as the main contractor on the project by Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN).

A spokesperson for SSEN Transmission said last week: ‘In response to local feedback received and following ongoing dialogue with Argyll and Bute Council, we and our contractors have taken the decision to withdraw the current planning applications for temporary accommodation sites at Furnace and Tarbert.

‘We will now explore alternative sites to accommodate our workforce, aiming to use existing sites where possible.

‘If suitable alternative accommodation cannot be found we may need to revisit options, including sites at Furnace and Tarbert, and will keep the community updated on our plans.’