Plans for a windfarm south of Inverness have been rejected amid fears over its impact on the surrounding landscape.
Councillors threw out the proposals for the 20 turbine Glen Kyllachy windfarm yesterday – much to the delight of objectors, who said it should “enough was enough” for wind developments in the Strathnairn and Strathdearn area.
But RWE Innogy, who are behind the scheme, said they were “surprised” by the decision and would be considering whether to appeal.
The south planning applications committee unanimously rejected the scheme – going against planners’ recommendation of approval.
Councillor Margaret Davidson was the first to voice concerns about the visual impact of the site, which members visited earlier this week. Other fears were raised about the noise and the cumulative impact of the new development next to the existing Farr windfarm, which would have brought the total number of masts in the area to more than 60.
Mrs Davidson said: “By and large people don’t seem to mind the Farr windfarm which is well designed and self-contained.
“What we need to bear in mind is putting more turbines next to a windfarm which is deemed acceptable does not necessarily result in a bigger acceptable windfarm.”
Last night campaigners welcomed the decision, with local councillor Ken Gowans hailing it as a “victory for the community”.
Pat Wells, convener of campaign group Save Strathdearn said the decision was a “huge relief” to the local communities.
Fellow campaigner Roger Croson, of Save our Strathnairn, added: “The committee have made a statement that enough is enough for this area.”
However, the battle may not yet be over.
RWE Innogy’s project manager Keris McLeod said: “This is obviously disappointing news for us and we are surprised that councillors on the committee have gone against the planner’s recommendation for approval.
“We have the right to appeal this decision, which will incur significant costs on both sides, and are currently considering our options.”
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