Angry campaigners claim a new map of windfarm developments in the north does not show the “true threat” of the march of the turbines.
Highland Council has produced a graphic detailing every turbine being dealt with by its planners.
The map shows almost 90 separate developments, affecting every part of the region.
Caithness remains one of the areas with the biggest proliferation of masts, and an increasing number of windfarms are planned across Sutherland and to the south of Loch Ness.
And the number of major projects being tabled this year is up significantly on the total for 2012 – from 10 to 38. But angry anti-turbine protesters claimed they know about more windfarms in the pipeline and expect more applications within months.
They criticised the Scottish Government’s green energy policy, which aims to meet 100% of the country’s electricity needs from renewables by 2020.
One development missing from the map is the Allt Carach scheme planned by German firm ABO Wind.
The proposals, revealed earlier this year, involve building 25 turbines at Kilmorack, near Beauly.
Lyndsey Ward, an campaigner from nearby Kiltarlity, said: “While the map is useful it does not give an indication of the true threat of wind development within the Highlands at all. It does not show where developers are targeting communities.
“Where they are doing surveys before putting in a mast application, the communities become aware of such activity and yet are denied access to information. “Any spare hill or piece of land is fair game for the developers – and the openseason wind policy of this SNP government continues unabated.”
Pat Wells, convener of Stop Highland Windfarms, said: “The Highland Council’s windfarm activity map presents a depressing picture of systematic desecration of the world-renowned Highland landscape – desecration shamefully presided over and encouraged by the SNP at Holyrood.
“The so-called Year of Natural Scotland in 2013 was a disgraceful smokescreen attempt by the Scottish Government to mask its duplicitous involvement in the windfarm scam.” And Stuart Young, of Caithness Windfarm Information Forum, said he was not surprised at the extent of proposed developments, but felt like “crying” over the picture in his region.
A Scottish Government spokeswoman said last night: “Our planning policy strikes a balance between making the most of Scotland’s huge green energy potential and the need to protect the country’s most scenic wild spaces, meaning that windfarms are only permitted to go ahead in the right places.
“Current planning and consents processes are rigorous and ensure appropriate siting of windfarms.”
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