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Officials back giant masts close to park  

Highland councillors have been directed to approve a planning application for two giant masts acknowledged as a precursor to a possible windfarm on the edge of the Cairngorms National Park at Kingussie.

Badenoch and Strathspey councillors will meet next Monday to consider Npower Renewables’ proposal for 164ft high masts near Meall A’Chocaire, a hill on the Balavil Estate overlooking the town.

The masts would be positioned a mile north of the mountain ridge which forms the boundary of the park, just north of Kingussie.

It is not considered a “preferred area for development” within the council’s own green energy strategy.

No local has officially objected to the proposal of masts being built, but a man from Ross-shire has done, warning of the proposition of “yet another appallingly sited windfarm”.

He argues that scientific evidence indicates the output from onshore turbines is unimpressive and states: “The idea of the park being ringed with turbine sites is horrific and farcical.”

There has been one submission supporting the application for the masts from local landowner Jamie Williamson. He said: “It would be irresponsible not to exploit opportunities available to us to make this area at least self sufficient in energy.” Balavil Estate owner Alan MacPherson-Fletcher told the Press and Journal rewards to landowners would be “huge”.


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