Revised plans for a controversial windfarm scheme have been tabled with Moray Council.
Edinburgh-based green energy firm Vento Ludens has reduced the number of turbines in the Brown Muir proposals from 19 to 12.
The changes follow comments from concerned residents about the environmental impact of the development.
Some of the turbines from the original application lodged in 2013 will be moved to less visible locations and seven will be scrapped altogether.
Mike Kelly, head of development at Vento Ludens, said: “We went back to the drawing board and redesigned the windfarm, taking on board the comments made during the previous application.
“To address the comments, we removed the most prominent turbines from the ridge at Brown Muir and moved others so the wind farm sits closer to the south east boundary of the site.
“We held five public exhibitions and maintained regular contact with the local community councils and have been pleased with the response to our new design.”
George Herraghty, a retired landscape photographer and long-time opponent of the turbines, was not impressed by the alterations to the proposals, however.
He said: “I find it quite extraordinary that these international developers keep trying to trample on the wishes of the Moray people.
“It’s an old trick, they apply for a certain number of turbines, and when the public causes a fuss, they reduce it to try and sneak it past the councils.
“Whether it is 12 turbines or 19, there’s still going to be thousands of tones of concrete being carted up and over Brown Muir by smoke belching lorries, it has nothing to do with green energy and everything to do with pocketing money.
“It’s a major tourist route towards Baxters in Forres and of course Gordon and MacPhail’s Benromach distillery, so tourists would have to drive past these turbines as big as the London Eye.”
A spokesman for Moray Council said: “We have received the application for the erection of turbines on the Brown Muir site.
“This has to go through the validation process and will be subject to advertisement in the local press, before being presented to the planning and regulatory committee in due course.”
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