Two proposed wind farms, requiring 42 turbines over 100 metres high to be built in Sutherland, were given the go-ahead yesterday despite opposition from residents. However a third plan for 23 towers in the same area was turned down.
Highland Council’s planning, development, Europe and tourism committee approved applications from Airtricity Developments for a 23-turbine project at Invercassley and by E.on UK Renewables for 19 turbines at Rosehall Hill Forest.
A third project, from SSE Generation for 23 towers at Achany Estate was rejected.
Councillors approved the projects despite planning officials recommending that permission should only be given to the Rosehall development.
All three applications drew objections, including petitions from neighbouring residents, outlining major concerns that a build-up of windfarms in the region could have a serious impact on the scenery and landscape, tourism and house prices.
One windfarm, with 17 turbines, has already been built in Sutherland and another, with 19 turbines, has been approved. Further applications, which could see 110 towers erected, are in the pipeline.
Three Sutherland community councils believe the local tourism economy would be adversely affected by more than one development in close proximity.
Russell Smith, of Creich Community Council, said later: “The planning committee have gone completely against their own renewable energy strategy.”
By John Ross
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