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Councillors to use railway to assess Allt Duine plan  

Credit:  BBC News, www.bbc.co.uk 16 January 2012 ~~

A planning committee is due to take the UK’s highest railway journey to help them assess the potential visual impact of a planned new wind farm.

RWE Npower Renewables wants to construct 31 turbines in the Monadhliath Mountains at Kincraig, near the Cairngorms National Park.

Objectors to the Allt Duine wind farm say it will ruin an unspoilt landscape.

Later, Highland councillors will travel on the Cairngorms funicular railway which climbs to 1,097m (3,599ft).

The railway’s highest point is just below the summit of CairnGorm Mountain and give views to where the farm could be built.

The Scottish government has consulted Highland Council on the project.

Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey planning applications committee had previously deferred making any comment.

Committee members will make a site visit before gathering to decide what stance to take on RWE’s planning application.

Council planning officials have recommended that the local authority does not object to it.

A campaign called Save the Monadhliath Mountains opposes the project.

Formal objections have also been lodged with the Scottish government by the Cairngorms National Park Authority, John Muir Trust, the Mountaineering Council of Scotland (MCofS) and Scottish Campaign for National Parks.

The MCofS said it was not against wind farms, but said the Allt Duine project would see landscape being sacrificed to the interests of firms and landowners.

If approved, the wind farm could generate enough power for 43,000 homes.

RWE said efforts would be made to minimise its visual impact.

The project has been reduced from 34 to 31 turbines, which will have a maximum height to blade tip of 125m (410ft).

At three locations the height to blade tip has been restricted to 110m (360ft) so turbines cannot be seen from viewpoints in the area, the company said.

Source:  BBC News, www.bbc.co.uk 16 January 2012

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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