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Wind speed test device approved

North councillors voted yesterday to grant planning permission for a temporary wind speed testing mast amid concerns it could signal more windfarm development on sensitive areas of the Highlands’ landscape.

Poll Lochaig Wind Farm wants to erect an anemometer mast on land at Cnochan Mor, near Tomatin.

Councillor Jim Crawford urged members of the Highland South planning committee to defer considering the application until a Scottish Government reporter had decided on two proposals for windfarms nearby at Tom Nan Clach and Glenkirk.

His motion was denied.

Mr Crawford said: “The people of Strathnairn and Strathdearn have been dealing with the threat of windfarms surrounding them for the past six years. I want to be able to tell these people that enough is enough in this area.”

He said there were three windfarms in the area, three more now being decided by a reporter and one coming before a planning committee later this year.

Inverness Ness-side councillor David Henderson said: “This is a special landscape area and it would break my heart to see it destroyed.”

But the council’s convener, Sandy Park, said: “We are being asked to approve this single mast. Who knows what will happen in the future.”

Permission was granted by nine votes to three.