As a Public Local Inquiry gets underway today (Monday) into an application for a wind farm in Easter Ross, the John Muir Trust signalled its strong opposition to the development.
The Trust is concerned that the Glenmorie site near Ardross extends into an area identified in recent mapping by Scottish Natural Heritage as a “core area of wild land”.
Earlier this year Highland Council triggered the inquiry when councilors on the North Planning Application Committee voted unanimously to raise an official objection against the proposal.
The John Muir Trust is backing the council’s stance, and will be attending the hearing this week in Ardross Community Hall.
Helen McDade, John Muir head of policy, said: “The Scottish Government is about to consult on its Core Wild Land Map of Scotland, which includes Glenmorie. We’d have preferred that this inquiry were delayed until the map is finalised, and until other contentious matters surrounding the application were resolved.
“But more important than the timing are the issues at stake. This part of the Highlands is one of Scotland’s finest wild land areas, yet it has been targeted relentlessly by developers over the past few years.
“Glenmorie would mark a tipping point, fundamentally changing this entire landscape, and send a message to developers that it is now open season on the mountains of Easter Ross and Sutherland.”
John Hutchison, chairman of the John Muir Trust, added:
“Councillors from across all political parties came together to object to this giant development on the grounds that it will disrupt wildlife and disfigure a scenic wild landscape.
“The Scottish Government was flooded with hundreds of letters of opposition. It would be a travesty of democracy if this development were to be steamrollered through in the face of such widespread and deep-rooted opposition from the community.”
The application for the Glenmorie wind farm is being promoted by Wind Energy and involves 34 turbines, each 125 metres high.
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