Scottish Government urged: Stop plan to build power plants in Scottish glen

Campers in the shadow of Buachaille Etive Mor, at the entrance to Glen Etive.
Campers in the shadow of Buachaille Etive Mor, at the entrance to Glen Etive.
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Mountaineers and hillwalkers’ organisation Mountaineering Scotland have called on the Scottish Government to review a “green power” decision it says will damage one of Scotland’s most iconic landscapes with “heavy engineering”.

A special meeting of the Highland Council yesterday approved three hydropower proposals which will impinge on wild land areas in Glen Etive, officially part of a National Scenic Area and made famous in the James Bond film Skyfall.

Stuart Younie, chief executive officer of Mountaineering Scotland, said: “This is a disappointing decision by the Highland Council. It brings into question the purpose and value of allocating special designations, which are intended to help protect our finest landscapes.

“We understand the arguments being made in support of the proposed developments, but feel there was a wider point of principle at stake. This was about the stewardship of a national asset and we hope this decision has not set a dangerous precedent which encourages more development applications in our wild land and national scenic areas.”

Seven applications had been submitted to build hydro schemes on both sides of Glen Etive. Mountaineering Scotland says each of the schemes would involve new road construction, bridge building, cement pouring and power cabling for a relatively low power output.