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Scottish Government refuses consent for wind farm in Highlands  

Credit:  16 July 2013 | www.heraldscotland.com ~~

Developers have failed to get the go-ahead for a new wind farm because of fears over the impact it would have on the landscape.

Energy minister Fergus Ewing refused to give consent for 23 turbines to go up on the Blairmore Estate, near Drumnadrochit in the Highlands.

It is the ninth time since the SNP came to power in 2007 that the Scottish Government has turned down plans for an on-shore wind farm.

Developer Sustainable Energy Limited had hoped to build a 69 megawatt wind farm on the Blairmore Estate.

Highland Council had objected to the plans, arguing the development would have a major visual impact on communities in the area.

Mr Ewing has now agreed with the findings of the public inquiry reporter, that the number and height of the turbines would be out of scale with the surrounding area and would have a significant adverse impact on the landscape.

The energy minister was also concerned about the impact the noise from the turbines would have on nearby properties.

He stressed that green energy projects must be the “right developments in the right places”.

Mr Ewing said: “Scotland has enormous potential for renewable energy that is delivering jobs and investment across Scotland, and I am determined to ensure communities all over Scotland reap the benefit from renewable energy – but not at any cost and we will ensure a balanced approach in taking forward this policy, as we have in the past and will in future.

“The Scottish Government wants to see the right developments in the right places and Scottish planning policy is clear that the design and location of any wind farm should reflect the scale and character of the landscape, and should be considered environmentally acceptable.”

Since 2007, the SNP administration has given the green light to 32 on-shore wind farms and one off-shore wind farm, as well as 19 hydro electric projects and four wave and tidal power projects.

Nine applications have been turned down, all of which were on-shore wind farms.

Ministers are currently considering another 48 applications for on-shore wind farms, as well as applications for five other energy projects.

Source:  16 July 2013 | www.heraldscotland.com

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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