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Wind farm near Tomatin rejected by Highland councillors

Fears that a 20-turbine wind farm would have spoilt the view for people travelling to and from Inverness saw the scheme rejected by Highland councillors.

Carbon Free Moy had wanted to build the 20-turbine development near Moy Hall, Tomatin, off the busy A9 trunk route and the Inverness to Perth railway.

However, the development on the Moy Estate which would have also involved a new access road off the B9154 Moy to Daviot road, fell foul of planners.

Ken McCorquodale, Highland Council’s principal planner, said the turbines would badly affect the view for motorists and train passengers.

The area planning committee, which met in Inverness, agreed the recommendation that it was “minded” to refuse the application.

It is not the final decision however, because the Scottish Government is now considering the scheme after the council failed to reach a verdict for Carbon Free Moy’s application within the statutory four-month period.

Mr McCorquodale said the critical factor was the impact on the main travel corridor to and from the Highland Capital.

“It is important to keep some wedges clear,” said Mr McCorquodale, who explained the turbines would frequently come into the sight of commuters travelling through the area, which already had several neighbouring wind farms.

He added that it was also in conflict with the draft Highland Wide Local Development because of its visual impact.

The turbines would have been 126.5 metres high.

Committee member and Inverness South Councillor Thomas Prag backed the planners view and said the location, which is within his ward, was not right for a large scale wind farm.

The Lib-Dem councillor said government policy supported wind farms but the local authority had a duty to try and protect certain parts of the Highlands from them.

Strathdearn and Strathnairn Community councils had also objected citing the visual impact of the turbines.

Nineteen objections, 18 of them submitted by local residents, had also been sent to the local authority.