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Activists oppose turbine site at foot of mountain

This news post is 11 months old

Turbines could be seen from 30 miles away they say

Plans for a wind farm in the foothills of a mountain in the northeast Highlands have been slammed by a campaign group.

An application has been lodged with the Scottish Government for up to 22 turbines at Ben Wyvis, Easter Ross.

However campaigners say that the turbines could be visible from the Ness Bridge, Inverness, 30 miles away as the total height of a turbine would be up to 200m.

Dan Bailey, of the campaign group Strathpeffer and Contin Better Cable Route, which intends to object to the scheme, voiced concern about so many plans for renewables in the Highlands.

“I don’t think many people have seen that anything has changed from previous applications and certainly nothing that would count in its favour,” he said. “We don’t object to renewable energy but believe we are getting more than our fair share.

“Offshore makes sense but smaller onshore wind farms are causing a lot of damage to our environment and to the tourist industry. The views of Ben Wyvis are iconic and define that Ross-shire area but a wind farm there is saying, ‘Welcome to the Highlands . . . here is our industrialisation’. Our existing economy will be trashed tourist-wise.”

Scottish Natural Heritage and the RSPB commented on previous applications.

“The proposed development site partly overlaps with the formerly proposed Clach Liath wind farm, which was refused consent in 2013,” Scottish Natural Heritage said.

The RSPB said: “[We are] supportive of the development of renewable energy but wind farms must be carefully sited to avoid negative impacts on sites and species of conservation importance.

“We are aware that the site boundary overlaps a number of other refused or withdrawn wind farm applications such as the Clach Liath wind farm, Clare wind farm and the Torranan Sleibh single turbine.

“Overall, we are happy with the content of the scoping report and welcome the fact that the developer intends to consult relevant organisations on ornithological matters, including RSPB Scotland.”