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Wind turbine on Prince Charles’ doorstep rejected

Plans for a huge turbine in view of the Prince of Wales’s bedroom window have been rejected by the Scottish Parliament.

It is a decision guaranteed to please the Duke of Edinburgh, who described onshore wind turbines as a “disgrace”. Plans for a huge turbine in view of the Prince of Wales’s bedroom window have been rejected by the Scottish Parliament.

Barrogill Angus, a farmer, has lost his appeal against a decision by planners to refuse a wind turbine on his land near the Castle of Mey in Caithness, where Prince Charles stays for a week every August.

An official appointed by Scottish ministers dismissed the appeal because neighbouring houses could be affected by the noise from the 67ft turbine.

“I acknowledge the modest but nonetheless useful contribution which the proposal would make towards renewable energy targets,” said the official.

“In this case, however, I find that to be outweighed by the potentially adverse impact on residential amenity.”

The Duke of Edinburgh told the managing director of a leading wind farm company that wind turbines were “absolutely useless”.

He criticised the industry’s reliance on subsidies from electricity customers, claiming that the turbines would “never work”. He accused people who support them of believing in a “fairy tale”.

His comments put him at odds with the Government’s policy to increase significantly the amount of electricity generated by wind turbines.

The country has 3,421 turbines – 2,941 of them onshore – with another 4,500 expected to be built under plans for wind power to play a more important role in providing Britain’s energy.

Chris Huhne, the Energy Secretary, called opponents of the plans “curmudgeons and fault-finders” last month and described turbines as “elegant” and “beautiful”.

Highland Council refused the application to erect a 20kw wind turbine near the Castle of Mey earlier this year because it would spoil the view of the property, which was the only home to have been owned by the late Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.

A report to planners claimed that the turbine would have “a significantly detrimental impact on the wider setting of the castle and the associated designed landscape”. Yet Historic Scotland raised no objection and said the turbine was far enough away.

The 18 objectors to the plans included the area’s former MP, Lord MacLennan of Rogart, who led the Prince’s North Highland Initiative.

The Prince has described onshore wind farms as a “horrendous blot on the landscape”. He has refused to have any built on the extensive Duchy of Cornwall estate.