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Government urged to throw out two wind farm plans

Campaigners have urged the Scottish Government to refuse the development of two wind farms in the Highlands.

Stop Highland Windfarms Campaign said assurances by ministers that wind farms would only be permitted “in the right places” would be tested by whether the proposals at Allt Duine and Stronelairg go ahead.

Convener Pat Wells said: “These are large-scale industrial developments and both sites are within the mapped Scottish Natural Heritage core area of wild land.

“When the map was published last April the Scottish Government heralded its total commitment to protecting these special core wild land areas from wind farm developments. The question now being asked is whether the government will honour this commitment.

“It would be inconsistent and illogical to approve one of the wind farms and refuse the other because they have so many factors in common. We maintain that the sites for Allt Duine and Stronelairg are definitely not the right places referred to by the Scottish Government and if ministers are genuinely committed to protecting core wild land, both applications will be refused.”

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said planning processes for all developments involving wind farms would ensure proper scrutiny. She said: “All renewable developments are subject to environmental scrutiny through the planning process and this manages any impacts on the natural environment, landscape and communities.

“Ministers will announce their decisions on the proposed Allt Duine and Stronelairg developments in due course.”

Stop Highland Windfarms Campaign is an umbrella organisation formed in 2006 to facilitate networking by local groups and individuals opposed to wind farm developments in Highland.

SSE Renewables has plans for 83 wind turbines at Stronelairg, near its Glendoe hydro electric scheme while RWE Npower Renewables plan to construct turbines in the Monadhliath Mountains.