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Windfarm would spoil Wyvis, says SNH

A controversial windfarm proposed near Ben Wyvis would have significant adverse impacts on views of the mountain, Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) has advised.

The Government’s nature and landscape advisor has responded to the Highland Council’s consultation on Falck Renewables planning application for the 17-turbine development, each 416ft high, to the east of Meall na Speireig near Evanton.

SNH also says the access tracks for the windfarm could affect an area designated for broad-leaf semi-natural woodland at Allt nan Caorach.

Steve North, SNH operations manager, said: “We have been speaking to the developer about this proposal for the past 18 months and provided pre-application advice, as well as advice on what the environmental impact assessment would need to cover.

“Our advice is that there would be quite serious adverse impacts on views of Ben Wyvis. The mountain is a dominant landmark feature of Easter Ross and the Inner Moray Firth, visible over an extensive area to a significant number of people who are living, working or visiting the area.

“The impact would be particularly noticeable along the Inner Moray Firth tourist route, where the views of Ben Wyvis from the A862 would be affected.

“There are also existing windfarms on either side of the proposed development, which raises issues about cumulative impacts. On balance we don’t think these impacts could be reasonably addressed.”

The views of SNH are also shared by top Scottish mountainers Cameron McNeish and Hamish MacInnes who have voiced their opposition to the plan. Ferintosh Community Council on the Black Isle is also leading a campaign against the proposed windfarm.