An energy firm was blasted today for attempting to cover up the location of potential wind farms by deliberately choosing obscure names for the developments.
Highland protesters were left furious when German firm ABO Wind UK made up a Gaelic name for a 25-turbine project near Beauly, rather than using the correct name for the area.
This, they claim, is an attempt to sneak through the proposals without locals realising.
ABO have also been left red-faced after they named the development Allt Carach, which means “meandering burn” in Gaelic, but campaigners found that carach can also translate as “sly” or “deceitful”.
Anti-wind farm protester Lyndsey Ward said: “’Allt Carach’ is not on any map and ABO admitted it was made up.
“It is unreasonable for ABO Wind to deliberately choose a name that is not instantly recognisable by the local population.
“This seems to be a favourite ploy by wind developers to perhaps reduce objections, as residents will have no idea if they will be impacted by a wind farm or not because the name is obscure.
“This windfarm should have been called something like Kilmorack Wind Farm, to flag up to locals they were threatened with yet another development.
“ABO Wind has called this wind farm a name that means ‘deceive’, when in reality by doing so it is deliberately deceiving the local population by making the name obscure so as not to alert those who will be affected.”
ABO tried to distance themselves from the claim, insisting they chose a neutral name because the wind farm would be crossing three separate estates, which have a number of burns flowing through them.
He denied the accusation that they had chosen the name to try and pull the wool over local residents’ eyes.
He said: “That is completely not the case.
“The proposed development area we are investigating is characterised by several winding burns, all minor in size, so this name seemed
“We can understand that people have got concerns and these concerns are likely to be highlighted in the absence of key details of how many turbines there will be, where they will go and what they will look like.
“If we don’t know that yet, then neither does anyone else.
“We will be extremely open with the information when we have worked up the designs.”
But Ms Ward said that it was not the first time that energy firms had used the ploy. She said “obscure” names had been used for the Druim Ba wind farm on the Blairmore Estate and the Clach Liath development on Ben Wyvis, although both were eventually thrown out by by Highland Council.