A leading conservation charity is yet again calling on Highland councillors to object to a controversial wind farm because of its impact on wild land.
The John Muir Trust wants the council to join Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) in objecting to the proposal from SSE to build 26 turbines on the east side of Glen Cassley, near Loch Shin in Sutherland.
SNH says the development would have significant adverse effects on the area’s peatland. It is concerned about the cumulative impact of the SSE site and another proposed project, the 22-turbine Sallachy Wind Farm, also at Loch Shin.
Planning officials have recommended councillors do not object when they meet tomorrow, on the condition three turbines are removed from the plan. If they do object, a public inquiry will be triggered.
The proposed turbines would be installed on a sensitive peatland habitat, according to the trust.
Its head of policy, Helen McDade, said Glencassley was a perfect example of the type of wild, remote land Scottish Planning Policy sought to protect.
“It would also be built on healthy peatland that, when degraded, will immediately start to release carbon into the atmosphere,” she said.
However, a spokesman for SSE said: “The John Muir Trust are misleading and have got it wrong … The proposed site has been extensively surveyed and the layout and construction plan does not impact on areas of deep peat.”
Last week Highland Councillors ignored calls from the trust to object to SSE plans for 67 turbines at Stronelairg in the Monadhliath Mountains between the A9 and Loch Ness.
l First Minister Alex Salmond has agreed to meet Rhona Weir, the widow of celebrated naturalist Tom Weir, so she can deliver a 4500-name petition against wind farms. Mrs Weir tried unsuccessfully to deliver it at the SNP conference in Inverness last month.
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