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Park authority to oppose windfarm

The Cairngorms National Park’s planning officers are recommending that a 26-turbine windfarm – which is almost a mile outside the park’s boundaries – be opposed.

They warn it would reduce the feeling of wildness in the park.

The park authority’s planning committee meets in Boat of Garten today and will consider Eurus Energy’s proposed development at Glenkirk, near Tomatin, south of Inverness.

The firm has applied for permission to the Scottish Government, and the park authority has been asked for its view.

The proposals were already scaled down, from 34 to 31 turbines, in 2006 when the park objected.

The planning officers’ report for the committee today says: “Glenkirk wind farm would if built, contribute to the now marked encircling effect of wind farms around the northern side of the national park, a feature which has an undermining effect on some of the special qualities of the park, and in particular the sense of wildness that one can experience here.

“These adverse effects are non-mitigable.”

It argues the landscape character of the Cairngorm Plateau is profoundly influenced by a sense of wildness, one of the special qualities of the park based on “…a sense remoteness, naturalness, ruggedness and lack of human artefacts.”

It says this windfarm, whether of 34 or 26 turbines would be prominent, particularly from the hills on the southern edge of the Dava Moor (between five and eight miles away), the area to the north west of Aviemore (eight to 10 miles), the Cromdale hills (14 to 16 miles) and the Meall a Bhuachaille ridge (about 12 miles away).