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John Muir Trust says Talladh-a-Bheithe windfarm would ‘scar the heart of Scotland’

A conservation charity has claimed that a controversial windfarm in Highland Perthshire would be “a stab in the heart” for Scotland’s most unspoiled landscapes.

The John Muir Trust, which is based in Pitlochry, has lodged an objection to the proposed Talladh-a-Bheithe project, which would lie just north of the Loch Rannoch and Glen Lyon National Scenic Area.

Situated in one of the last wild areas of Scotland not affected by windfarms, the trust sees the proposal as a major challenge to the Scottish Government’s new National Planning Framework.

Helen McDade, head of policy at the John Muir Trust, said: “The trust believes that this development would be a stab in the heart of Scotland’s wild land.

“Over the past year, the Scottish Government has made ground-breaking progress by adopting the new Wild Land Areas map of Scotland and, for the first time, recognising wild land as an important national asset.

“We hope that the Government will refuse this application and live up to the spirit of the National Planning Framework, which says ‘We also want to continue our strong protection for our wildest landscapes – wild land is a nationally important asset’,” Ms McDade went on.

“It is essential that Perth and Kinross Council provide a civic lead in this matter and formally object to what is a wholly inappropriate development.

“This is an insensitive proposal of 24 turbines up to 125m high, visible from more than 30 Munros and Corbetts, in one of the last remaining areas of Scotland unspoiled by industrial scale renewable developments.”

She continued: “The proposal is ill thought through and deficient in many ways.

“For example, there are no details of how the component parts would be delivered to site without significant damage to this very sensitive environment.”

She added: “The potential impact of the Talladh-A-Bheithe development would scar the heart of Scotland.”

Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser has secured a parliamentary debate on the windfarm and what the application means for Scottish wild land.

Parliament will debate the motion on September 30 and Mr Fraser said: “The Scottish Government talk tough on protecting wild land but, if approved, Talladh-a-Bheithe will show just how hollow these words are.”