A judge has rejected an attempt to block a 59-turbine wind farm close to the Cairngorms National Park.
The farm on the Glenfiddich Estate near Dufftown, Moray, was recommended by a reporter after a public inquiry in 2010, and approved by the Scottish ministers, in the face of objections from a group, the Speyside Business Alliance.
One of the group, William Grant & Sons Distillers, sought a judicial review of the decision to grant consent to Dorenell Ltd (UK) to build the farm, extending to 21.5 square kilometres, about two kilometres from the northern edge of the Cairngorms National Park.
The Court of Session in Edinburgh heard that the inquiry reporter had concluded that the farm would make a significant contribution towards meeting and surpassing national renewable energy targets.
In his view, the effects on the national park were acceptable.
Grant argued to Lord Malcolm that the reporter had decided that there was a need for the farm at the site, and then was “anxious not to find too many things in the way of consent.”
If the balancing exercise involved a set of scales, the firm contended, the reporter “proceeded on the basis that the question of need held down one set of the scales.”
However, Lord Malcolm dismissed the claim. He said: “(The reporter’s) view was that ‘the landscape in the area has the capacity to absorb the proposals.’ I see no sound basis for assuming that this judgment has been tainted or influenced by the decision on need.”
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