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Residents fight against planned ‘ring of steel’

A Ross-shire community has come out fighting against proposals for two new windfarms, claiming they would leave them “totally surrounded” by a ring of steel.

Residents of Ardross, near Evanton, who already have three windfarms on their doorsteps, are furious at proposals to build Glenmorie windfarm in Strath Rusdale on the historic Kildermorie and Glencalvie estates and another at Coire Na Cloiche, just a few miles away at the head of Strath Rusdale. Ardross Community Council secretary John Edmondson said: “We are feeling very enclosed, certainly if the Glenmorie proposal goes ahead, we will be totally surrounded.

“We are used to having access to the hills and quiet enjoyment of our place. The two windfarms proposed will basically put a ring of steel round our community.

“The combined total of these two applications will amount to a further 47 turbines for a community which already has 67 turbines in or immediately neighbouring it, making a total of 114.”

Power company AES is seeking permission for 36 turbines at Glenmorie.

RockBySea, which is behind the Coire Na Cloiche windfarm between Braentra and the existing Beinn Tharsuinn windfarm, is seeking permission for 13 turbines.

Mr Edmondson said: “The general view of the local people at a recent meeting is that this proposal was a step too far. Ardross had welcomed previous windfarms, but the cumulative effect of these and Glenmorie on a small community would be unreasonable.”

A meeting about the RockBySea proposal will take place on Monday at Ardross Community Hall at 8pm.

Glenmorie windfarm project director Steve Hunter said: “There will be substantial economic benefits from this windfarm if it goes ahead.

“During construction it is expected that 21 jobs could be created in the region, with six in the local area. Throughout the 25-year operation of the windfarm we anticipate there could be 20 jobs created in the region, of which eight could be in the local area.”

He said they would also create a fund for the local communities of £5000/MW which would equate to about £500,000 a year.