The John Muir Trust, the wild land conservation charity, has objected to a 22-turbine wind development on the Sallachy and Duchally Estates, near Lairg, due to the impact it would have on some of Scotland’s finest wild land.
The site of the 125 metre high turbines is within an area identified by Scottish National Heritage as a Search Area for Wild Land. The Trust estimates the turbines will be visible from up to ten per cent of the Assynt and Coigach National Scenic Area (NSA), including from Conival and Ben More Assynt, the two Munros in the NSA.
John Hutchison, chairman of the John Muir Trust said: “This is a worrying proposal. Assynt and Coigach is an area of great beauty and spectacular natural landscapes that includes the summits of Quinag, Ben Mor Coigach and Suilven.
“Folk are becoming very concerned about the effect of this type of development on our wild landscape, the unique Scotland that visitors come to see. We can’t afford to lose high quality areas of wild land such as this, particularly when there are impacts on an established National Scenic Area.
“We’ve been concerned for a while that as less sensitive available space is used up, Scotland’s wildest land will come under increased threat. The Sallachy proposal is a step closer to this happening.”
Steven Turnbull, policy officer for the Trust said: “The developer in this case has recognised the wildness of the site but has significantly undervalued this quality. If Sallachy is approved it would set an unwelcome precedent for future developments. It would make it even more difficult in the future to challenge wind farms that impact on National Scenic Areas, the highest accolade for Scotland’s natural landscapes.”