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Mountaineers promise to oppose second wind farm plan for Ben Wyvis

A mountaineering group has criticised a potential move to build a wind farm on the slopes of a beauty spot.

The Mountaineering Council of Scotland (MCofS) says a plan to build the turbines on the slopes of Ben Wyvis, north of Dingwall was “unacceptable” and vowed to fight any application.

Renewable energy company, PI Renewables, based in West Calder, is considering an application for a 19-turbine wind farm on Carn Gorm, on the southern slopes of Ben Wyvis.

The company has made a scoping request to the Highland Council to identify the key environmental issues around the plan.

The move comes five months after a different energy company, Falck Renewables, withdrew plans for its proposed Clach Liath wind farm on the eastern side of the mountain.

The MCofS said it was “astonished that a developer can even consider siting a wind farm inside a Special Landscape Area”.

It have called for the Scottish Government to bring in more planning rules around rural landscapes.

Board Member Ron Payne, director for Landscape and Access, said: “This is yet another example of an unacceptable wind farm proposal – part of which is to be located in a designated Special Landscape Area – and demonstrates why the Scottish Government must implement planning safeguards which protect Scotland’s superb landscapes.

“If PI Renewables insist on pushing this proposal through planning, they can expect to be faced with strong and determined opposition.”

MCofS Chief Officer, David Gibson, added: “It appears Ben Wyvis – a superb mountain which welcomes visitors arriving from the south to Inverness and the Moray Firth area – has become an unfortunate magnet for wind farm developers.”

A spokesman for PI Renewables stressed its application was still in the planning stages.

He said: “We haven’t yet put a planning application in.”