HIGHLAND Councillors have objected to one of the largest wind farms planned in the heart of the famous Flow Country peatlands – a project dubbed the “most worrying” ever seen by RSPB Scotland.
The opposition to SSE’s Strathy South project will force a Local Public Inquiry before a final decision is made by Scottish Ministers.
RSPB Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage opposed the plans, claiming it would have an adverse impact on birds.
The Flow Country is the name given to 1,500 square miles of peatland in Caithness and Sutherland – the largest blanket bog in the world.
They are described as being one of the planet’s rarest habitats, being a home for many bird species – including golden eagle, hen harrier, merlin, black-throated diver, red throated diver, greenshank and golden plover - and also an important carbon store.
SSE was given consent for 33 turbines at Strathy North in 2011 and had wanted to expand on to a new site of a non-native conifer tree plantation.
They had originally sought permission in 2007 for 77 turbines, but eventually reduced that number by 30.
Despite a recommendation by planning officials that the authority raise no objection, its north planning committee voted 12-3 to object and trigger the public inquiry.