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Community opposition to proposed Glenmorie wind farm

Proposals for a giant wind farm – situated 10km south-west of Bonar Bridge – has met with strong opposition from members of one community council within the area.

The Glenmorie project, which consists of 43 turbines, would be situated at the head of Strathrusdale, between Braentra and Carn Chuinneag on land owned by Kildermorie and Glencalvie estates. It would be one of the biggest in the north of Scotland.

Glenmorie Wind Farm LLP submitted its planning application to the Scottish Government on November 11.

Members of Ardross Community Council, who held a public meeting at Ardross Community Hall about the proposals last night (Thursday), say they are “not keen” on the project which would be situated on their doorstep.

The proposed Glenmorie wind farm is “far too big and intrusive” according to Ardross Community Council secretary John Edmondson.

Speaking before the public meeting, Mr Edmondson, from Strathrusdale, told the Northern Times: “We’ve already got around 60 turbines in the immediate vicinity and there are more at the planning stage. If this project goes ahead we will be surrounded by them.

“The feeling of the community council is we’ve just had enough. It is not simply a case of nimbyism. There are 13 pylons planned for this area but we’ve been generally supportive because they are well hidden. But it is important to get the views of the rest of the community, that’s why we have called this meeting.”

Neighbour Peter Allen, chairman of the community council, added: “Everyone who lives in the glen will be overpowered by this project – the pylons will run right past the houses. Other farms in Scotland have gone underground but there would be 17m high wooden pole structures here – it would be awful.”

He added: “Because the area is a RAF fly zone, there is even talk of strobe lighting on top of the pylons, which would bleep every second. At night time it will look like a fireworks display.”

However, Natasha Rai, project manager for Glenmorie Wind Farm, said: “We have carried out a thorough environmental assessment of the Glenmorie site and listened to people’s feedback on our proposals. So far, we have received quite a positive response to our plans from the local community. At our last public exhibitions in May, three quarters of respondents said they supported the proposal or had no view.

“We have reduced the scale of our original project and carefully designed the wind farm to limit any visual impact, as this was a key concern for residents. The topography of the site means that most of the wind farm will be hidden from view from the surrounding villages, while still maintaining a suitable position for the turbines where there is good wind resource for producing electricity.

“If it is approved, this wind farm would provide enough electricity to power the equivalent of approximately 90,000 households.”

She added more information is available on the company’s website, visit www.glenmorie.com

Local MSP Rob Gibson said: “The development at Glenmorie can provide more clean electricity which would help towards meeting Scotland and the UK’s green energy targets. It should also provide greater cash benefits for many communities in the area. This would be especially welcome in these very hard financial times.”