Bheinn Mhor windfarm proposal raises objections

Picture:  Ian Rutherford
Picture: Ian Rutherford
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ANTI-WINDFARM objectors have condemned plans by a renewables firm to build a windfarm next to an iconic Highland beauty spot.

German-owned wpd Scotland is seeking permission for seven giant turbines – each reaching 405ft – just over one mile from Glen Affric.

Protestors claim the Bheinn Mhor proposal would create an ‘industrial gateway’ at the tourism hotspot, which is a designated national nature reserve and includes part of the ancient Caledonian pine forest.

Richard Crawford, leader of the anti-windfarm Alliance Party of Scotland, said: “The Alliance believes industrial windfarms that impact on areas such as world-renowned Glen Affric should be avoided at all costs.”

He said this was in order “to protect wildlife and the valuable wild land environment”.

Mr Crawford also branded the offer to the community to invest in one of the turbines to reap financial gain as a “bribe”.

He added: “The pressure that is being put on all of these communities and the bribes that are being offered to them, they can’t fight it.

“That’s why we set up the party, to try and put some political pressure on Holyrood.”

Wpd Scotland states in its application to Highland Council: “The potential for visual impact on the setting of and views both into and out of the National Scenic Area, Special Landscape Areas and popular Glen Affric Munros including Carn Eigh, Mam Sodhail, Tom a Choinich and Toll Creagach would need to be considered.”

Meanwhile, another developer has lodged plans for a windfarm on a site in Caithness, reduced to eight from the original 30 it had initially sought.

Spittal Hill Win Farm Ltd had its plans for the onshore windfarm rejected by the Scottish Government last year following a public inquiry.

The developer has now proposed erecting eight turbines on the same site at Spittal Hill.

They claim the project would bring economic, social and environmental benefits to the local area.

The company’s original project received 1,546 letters of objection and 1,268 letters of support. Highland Council opposed the scheme.

Mr Ewing said it would have had a negative impacts on nearby properties and views of the landscape.

Noise from the turbines could potentially have been heard from residents in 89 properties within two kilometers of the site, the inquiry had heard.