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Growing concern over Ross wind farm scheme hailed by community  

Credit:  Ross-shire Journal | 20 November 2012 | www.ross-shirejournal.co.uk ~~

A Ross-shire community council has welcomed growing support for its campaign against a 17-turbine wind farm it says would “dominate” views of an iconic peak.

Ferintosh Community Council made its remarks in the wake of backing by the Mountaineering Council of Scotland in opposition to plans by Falck Renewables to erect the 416-feet turbines on Clach Liath, part of the Ben Wyvis massif.

Ferintosh Community Council is opposing the project following local consultation on the issue.

Chairman Bruce Morrison said: “There is now a substantial amount of support for our resistance to this ill-considered application which if approved, would directly interrupt and degrade the view of an isolated and dominant Munro that is seen by a large population of residents and tourists.”

Those now publicly opposed to Clach Liath include Cameron McNeish, Hamish MacInnes, Charles Kennedy MP, five Ross-shire community councils, the John Muir Trust and Scottish Natural Heritage.

Ferintosh Community Council has also now launched a Facebook page entitled ‘No! To Ben Wyvis windfarm’.

David Gibson, chief officer of MCofS, has said of Clach Liath: “This application is absolute proof of why the Scottish Government should develop more effective policies and call a complete halt to any proposals which affect Munros, Corbetts and other key sites.

“The Clach Liath application demonstrates that some developers will try to build anywhere, regardless of the importance of individual sites to our natural heritage. Due to its location and visibility Ben Wyvis is an iconic Munro that would be permanently disfigured and damaged by such a senseless industrial development.

“In the absence of a national policy for the siting of wind farms, the Highland Council bears a great responsibility for the protection of much of Scotland’s mountain landscapes. Their decision on Clach Liath could potentially determine the fate of many of Scotland’s finest mountain areas through precedent, as well as the fate of many tourism businesses as those who once sought the beauty and solace of Scotland’s mountains go elsewhere to escape our industrialised landscapes.”

The company behind the scheme though insists it has been specifically chosen to avoid any specially designated areas which protect wildlife or landscape and does not lie on Ben Wyvis.

It says the surrounding area is a thriving energy hub and already has significant development with the industrial estates at Evanton, the pylon line and the boats and rigs on the Firth to the east.

It claims the wind farm itself would be well screened from most directions and has been planned to sit well in the landscape when viewed from the south.

Source:  Ross-shire Journal | 20 November 2012 | www.ross-shirejournal.co.uk

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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