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Dava anti-wind farm campaigners feel encouraged

Campaigners against the proposed Glenkirk and Tom nan Clach wind farms say they have been given encouragement by a recent refusal on a planned development.

Mr Fergus Ewing, Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism turned down the proposed wind farm at Dunbeath, stating the significant adverse impacts it wouldhave on nearby wild land.

The minister’s recent decision on the Dunbeath development is welcomed by wind farm opponents.

Pat Wells, Convener of Strathdearn Against Windfarm Developments (SAWD), said: “The reasons cited by Mr Ewing for refusal of Dunbeath apply precisely to the proposed Glenkirk and Tom nan Clach developments.

“The Dava Hills are peatlands with a special wild character, designated as a Special Landscape Area and in close proximity to the protected Cairngorms National Park.

“In addition these large wind farms would be visually very intrusive from the A9 corridor and the extremely popular B9007 tourist route to Lochindorb.

“They would also increase the cumulative visual impact of the operational Farr wind farm and several approved developments nearby, including Moy and Berryburn.”

“The decision on Glenkirk and Tom nan Clach has been a long time coming. Many thousands of hours were spent trying to prevent the industrialisation of the wild Dava Hills.

“We trust the reasons for refusing Dunbeath will be applied equally to the Dava and so safeguard for future generations this very special wild expanse of peatland, rich in colour with only the sounds of wind and water and the song of the curlew.”

The public inquiries for the two highly controversial wind farms on the Dava Hills between the A9 trunk road and the scenic B9007 Duthil to Glenferness road began almost two years ago.

It is understood that the Reporter submitted his recommendations to ministers last July on the proposed 26 turbine Glenkirk wind farm and the adjacent 17 turbine Tom nan Clach wind farm.

Objectors giving evidence at the three-week public inquiries included Highland Council, the Cairngorms National Park, Save Our Dava and Strathdearn Against Windfarm Developments as well as several individuals.

Mr Ewing has advised that he will not be making the final decision because he is the constituency MSP. Instead, John Swinney MSP will make the judgement.