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Postponement of planning application causes concern to Save the Monadhliath Mountains campaign group

The controversial on-going proposal to construct a wind farm with 31 turbines at Allt Duine in the Monadhliath Mountains of eastern Scotland rumbles on with the latest news being a delay in the planning application being considered meeting with ‘concern’ from the campaigning Save the Monadhliath Mountains group.

There’s lots more detail at www.savemonadhliathmountains.com – the proposed site is just 400 metres from the boundary of the Cairngorm National Park and is one of 11 wind farms proposed for the region. Campaigners believe that the farm, if built, will impact adversely on the wildness of the area and impact negatively on views from inside the National Park as well as impacting on wildlife.

Here’s the full statement from the campaign group on latest developments.

Save the Monadhliath Mountains campaign group statement:

Allt Duine wind farm application delay

The last minute announcement that the s.36 application for 31 wind turbines at Allt Duine, near Kincraig, will not come before the Highland Council’s Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey Planning Application Committee meeting on 8 November 2011 has been noted, with some concern, by the Save the Monadhliath Mountains’ (SMM) campaign group.

However, MM believes that the postponement could enable the councillors to visit the site and spend valuable time fully considering the legitimate concerns raised by the Cairngorms National Park Authority, Scottish Campaign for National Parks and others regarding whether the proposed development is appropriate for an important area of wild land and outstanding natural beauty.

SMM campaigners believe that to build a large onshore wind farm in an area of unspoilt wild land, and in an area that the Council wishes to protect, would be devastating and a step too far.

Formal objections have been lodged with the Scottish Government by the Cairngorms National Park Authority, the John Muir Trust, the Mountaineering Council of Scotland, Scottish Campaign for National Parks and key local estates.

Outdoor author, photographer and former President of the Mountaineering Council of Scotland, Chris Townsend, is a spokesman for the SMM campaign. Chris, who lives in the Cairngorms National Park, is also a writer and photographer for TGO (The Great Outdoors) Magazine and has written many books and guides about the area, including A Year in the Life of the Cairngorms and the Cicerone guide Scotland.

Chris said: “Backed by over 1000 supporters, we believe that the strength of public feeling against the application should be recognisedby Highland Council with an objection. The SMM campaign hopes that the councillors will take this opportunity to pause and reflect on whether the Allt Duine wind farm proposal, in an area that the Council wishes to protect, is appropriate. We hope that the Council is not in negotiation with the applicant.

“Allt Duine is one of 11 wind farms being developed in-and-around the National Park and we believe there is a line in the sand and this is it – this proposal is a step too far – 31 turbines, the majority of which are a massive 410 feet in height, are completely inappropriate for a wild area of outstanding natural beauty. The construction and operation of the turbines will have an irrevocable impact on the landscape, wildlife and ornithology of the area.”

Renowned mountaineer, writer and broadcaster, Cameron McNeish and Chief Executive of the John Muir Trust, Stuart Brooks, are backing the campaign, along with support from over 1,100 individuals and organisations such as Scottish Campaign for National Parks, Walk Highlands and Scotland-Landscapes.

For more information on the SMM campaign visit www.savemonadhliathmountains.com