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MSP wants backing for windfarms protesters

A Highland MSP has urged two leading conservation agencies to back campaigners opposed to the increasing number of windfarms in his constituency.

The SNP’s Fergus Ewing, who represents Inverness East, Nairn and Lochaber, has written to Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and Historic Scotland urging them to intervene amid fierce opposition, in particular to heavy development plans for the unspoilt Dava Moor wilderness between Nairn and Grantown.

Many hundreds of people from tiny, widely spread communities have signed a petition objecting to one planning proposal for the area in particular which is expected to be formally submitted to Highland Council within the next month.

Mr Ewing said: “Plainly, there is considerable and mounting opposition to the windfarm developments on the grounds that they are visually obtrusive, particularly in the Dava and surrounding area.”

He has sought SNH’s response to an objection document from local residents, asked if the organisation intends objecting to the plan and for SNH to provide a detailed analysis of its views on windfarm development generally in the area. “I think it is important to establish whether SNH will issue a carte blanche to windfarm developments in the Highlands or whether they will join with the increasing number of residents who are expressing their extreme concern as to the visual obtrusion which these developments will make,” Mr Ewing explained.

He has written to Historic Scotland on the same basis, suggesting it has a duty, not least, to protect the remains of the 13th century island castle on Lochindorb – Loch of Trouble – six miles north of Grantown.

Both agencies confirmed yesterday that they had received letters from Mr Ewing and would be responding shortly.