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Developer withdraws application to build 17 turbines

The developers behind a controversial wind farm plan have withdrawn their application for consent to erect 17 turbines just a few miles from the Cairngorms National Park but insist they are committed to the pursuing a project on the site.

Edinburgh-based Eurowind UK said current investors had taken the decision on Nathro Hill Wind Farm near Brechin “after making their own assessment of the current planning climate”.

In a statement the company said: “Eurowind UK’s Board is obviously disappointed by this decision but takes heart from the fact that this decision will allow them more time to deepen and strengthen ongoing discussions with the local community over the community ownership element of the development.

“The Board fully expects to take the project forward at a later date with the offer of a comprehensive shared ownership package with the community.”

The Ministry of Defence and RSPB Scotland had originally opposed the development but withdrew their objections following assurances from the developers. But the Mountaineering Council of Scotland MCofS maintained its opposition because of the location of the site in relation to Scotland’s largest national park.

David Gibson, Chief Officer of the MCofS, said : “We welcome the news that the developer has withdrawn this ill-advised development. Given its proximity to the Cairngorms National Park it should never have been lodged in the first place and we would have opposed it at every stage.”

Originally Eurowind had proposed a Community Benefit sum of £3,500 p/MW installed capacity, which would have earned the community around £200,000 annually.

But it decided to explore the alternative of allowing the local community itself to buy a share of the wind farm.