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Windfarm firm accused of exaggerating Inverness support

A windfarm company has been accused of exaggerating public support for its development plans near Inverness.

ABO Wind’s application to build a 262ft meteorological mast to the west of Beauly near Urchany and Farley Forest prompted about 280 letters to Highland Council.

All but two objected to the scheme, which is a precursor to a planned windfarm of up to 25 turbines, known as Allt Carach.

The mast proposal will be debated by councillors tomorrow, but there have been claims that ABO Wind has misled planners.

In a letter to the council, ABO Wind said their representatives had met the owners of the Aigas Field Centre and the luxury accommodation provider, Eagle Brae, to discuss their concerns.

The letter adds: “ABO Wind has agreed to work closely with these businesses at all stages in the development process to ensure that impacts on their activities are kept to the lowest level possible.”

In a report to the south planning committee on Tuesday, council planners have recommended that the mast application be approved.

But the owners of both businesses have hit out at the company, insisting they are opposed to any turbine proposals in the area.

Warwick Lister-Kaye, of Aigas, said: “I thought the record needed to be put straight about the relationship with local businesses because we felt that their letter was misleading to the poi nt of being mendacious.

“I do not want anybody to think that Aigas Field Centre is in anyway collaborating with or accepting of the plans that ABO are pursuing.”

Mike Spencer-Nairn, of Eagle Brae, added: “I did not like the way it sounded like we were working with them.

“We are at war with them. All we have done is agree that they can come to Eagle Brae to make up a photo montage from here.”

Anti-windfarm ca mpaigner Lyndsey Ward, of Kiltarlity, said: “ABO Wind has strongly implied that two of our local businesses will work with them regarding the siting of this wind farm. This is not true and both have robustly refuted such outrageous claims.”

A spokesman for ABO Wind UK said: “ABO Wind is committed to work closely with local tourism businesses at all stages in the development process to ensure that any impacts on their activities are kept to the lowest level possible.

“The relevant comments in the report by the area planning manager, to the Highland Council’s south planning applications committee, reflect that aspiration.”