Campaigners have hailed Highland councillors for getting tough with windfarm developers – before they even lodged an application for turbines.
Members of the local authority’s south planning committee defied the advice of officials and voted overwhelmingly to reject proposals for a 262ft testing mast at a Highland beauty spot.
German company ABO Wind had hoped to instal the device west of Beauly, near Urchany and Farley Forest, to assess conditions for a 25-turbine windfarm at Allt Carach, on the southern flanks of Glen Strathfarrar.
The council received 276 objections to the mast plan, some from as far away as Australia and Washington DC in the US.
Campaigners said after yesterday’s meeting that they were delighted councillors had listened to them.
Councillors were told they had to vote on the mast application and not the potential for it to lead to a windfarm development.
They voted 10-3 in favour of Councillor Margaret Davidson’s motion to reject the mast because of the detrimental i mpact on t he “startling landscape”.
Warwick Lister-Kaye, general manager at the nearby Aigas Field Centre, said: “The volume of objections shows how deeply held the feeling against this development is.”
Inverness councillor Thomas Prag warned: “This application is part of the process for getting permission for a windfarm. They can’t do one without getting the measurements from the other. If it is rejected, then it will be appealed, and it is highly likely we will lose.”
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