Opponents of a new windfarm which would be visible from the north’s busiest road have called on councillors to stand up for local people’s views.
RWE Innogy’s proposals for 20 turbines adjacent to an existing windfarm at Tomatin will be decided by Highland councillors on Tuesday.
The devices will form the Glen Kyllachy windfarm and will each be 360ft high.They will be visible from the Slochd summit and the A9 Inverness-Perth trunk road.
Unusually Highland Council received more letters of support for the renewable energy development than of objection.
A total of 35 letters of support were sent and 29 in opposition.
Objectors said that the windfarm conflicted with the council’s ideas for an A9 road corridor free of large development.
They also opposed the plans because of their visual impact on the Strathdearn and Strathnairn areas and the Cairngorms National Park.
There are also fears about noise from the development. It will be next to the 40 turbines in operation at Farr, which has been the subject of complaints about noise in recent months.
The Strathnairn and Strathdearn community councils both objected to the application.
However supporters of the scheme – many with addresses outwith the Highlands – said that the development was in a good location and would provide jobs .
The Cairngorms National Park Authority also raised no objection.
Highland Council’s planners have recommended that the scheme be approved by councillors at the south planning committee on Tuesday.
Anti-windfarm campaigner Pat Wells, of Tomatin, said she was disappointed with the recommendation.
She said: “We would look to our councillors to represent the views of the community at the meeting.
“It would be a blow to Strathnairn.”
An RWE Innogy spokeswoman said: “We believe we have designed a scheme which sits well alongside the existing Farr windfarm, minimising any additional impacts.
“The turbines are sited on land which is out with any statutory designations and consultees including SEPA, SNH, Cairngorms National Park Authority, Historic Scotland as well as the Highland Council’s internal advisors have made no objections to the scheme. This is reflected in the planning officer’s approval for a positive determination.
“If consented, Glen Kyllachy Wind Farm could contribute 50MW of renewable energy generation towards Scottish Government targets as well as directly providing up to £12m of construction investment and 6 jobs to the Highlands.”
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