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Wind turbine gets blown off course

It was a blow that wind farm developers were certainly not expecting.

A lorry carrying a huge turbine for a green energy scheme in Carraig Gheal, Argyll, tipped over on its way to the development on the north-west side of Loch Awe.

It is not known how the accident will affect work at the 20-turbine scheme.

Meanwhile, plans for a separate Highland wind farm have been put on hold after the wintry conditions made the site inaccessible for councillors to visit.

At a Highland Council planning committee meeting yesterday, members deferred approval of plans for an 83-turbine scheme in the Monadhliath Mountains until they see the site for themselves.

The local authority admitted that snow and ice on the route to the proposed Stronelairg wind farm meant the visit may have to be postponed indefinitely.

Council spokesman Sylvia Tarrant said: ‘There is only one track going up there and at the moment it is covered in snow, making climbing up to the site very difficult.

‘We would also need all-terrain vehicles to get the committee members up there. We have special officers going to look at the logistics of the site visit this week but at the moment we have no time scale on the wind farm visit, and there will be no further date set until the site is more safely accessible.’

Plans to erect the 440ft turbines across 42 square miles of unspoilt landscape have attracted controversy.

David Gibson, of the Mountaineering Council of Scotland, said: ‘This proposal by SSE would involve building a huge power plant with vast turbines, miles of trackways, buildings and huge masts, in some of the most beautiful mountains in Scotland, at the edge of the Cairngorms National Park.

‘It is completely wrong-headed putting energy company profits ahead of our national heritage.’

He added: ‘We are pleased the Highland Council has deferred the decision in order to make a visit to the site. It’s a welcome sign that they are acknowledging there is a lot of opposition to this wind farm, which is a massive industrial development.

‘The fact that it is difficult for site visits is indicative of the fact that it is such wild land, which deserves recognition.’