Scotland’s mountain landscape is in danger of being sacrificed in favour of energy developments, climbers have claimed.
The Mountaineering Council of Scotland (MCofS) said there was an urgent need to change the UK government’s renewable energy policy and Scottish ministers’ planning policy, which it says favours large-scale land-based wind-farm developments.
The council, which has 11,000 members, called for action ahead of Highland Council considering an application for the 31-turbine Allt Duine wind farm on the edge of the Cairngorms National Park on Tuesday.
RWE-npower Renewables wants to build the wind farm near Kincraig, 440 yards from the park’s western boundary.
An online petition against the development has gained hundreds of signatures while 23 objections have been sent to the council and another 105 to the Scottish Government, with 24 in support.
Council officials are recommending that councillors raise no objection to the development, which will be determined by ministers.
MCofS president Brian Linington said: “Whilst the final decision on Allt Duine ultimately rests with Scottish ministers, any decision other than rejection of the proposals by the Highland Council will send a clear signal that there is no local opposition to further and extensive wind-farm developments in the Monadhliath Mountains.”
A Scottish Government spokesman said the government would only approve the right wind farm applications in the right places and those applications that did not meet the strict criteria were rejected.
An RWE spokeswoman said of the Allt Duine plan: “This is a well-designed proposal within an area selected by Highland Council, which will bring significant local economic benefits.”
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