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New bid to put turbines near iconic northern munro  

Credit:  By Jane Candlish | The Press and Journal | 6 December 2014 | www.pressandjournal.co.uk ~~

Objectors who successfully fought off plans for wind turbines beside a iconic north peak, have a mountain to climb agtain.

PI Renewables has lodged an appeal asking the Scottish Government to approve the Carn Gorm windfarm, which would involve 14 turbines, each 410ft high, on the lower slopes of Ben Wyvis the Ross-shire Munro that can be seen for miles around.

The scheme was rejected by councillors and planning officers under delegated powers earlier this year.

They stated that the windfarm would be “significantly detrimental” to the mountain massif and surrounding area.

Mountaineering groups, tourism businesses and locals all voiced anger at the plan which attracted more than 100 objections.

The site for the windfarm was at Carn Gorm on the southern slopes of the Ben Wvyis massif above Strathgarve Forest, about two miles north-east of Garve.

But now the firm has asked ministers to look at the proposal.

A reporter will be appointed to the case and could decide to hold a public local inquiry.

Among those criticising the proposal were the Mountaineering Council of Scotland, the John Muir Trust, former sheriff principal for the north, Sir Stephen Young, and the Earl of Cromartie, John Mackenzie, chief of the Clan Mackenzie.

PI Renewables could not be reached for comment.

Carn Gorm was the second proposed Ben Wyvis windfarm to be rejected this year, after officials also rejected Falck Renewables proposal for the Clach Liath windfarm on the eastern side of the mountain.

The Mountaineering Council of Scotland (MCofS) chief officer David Gibson said when CArn Gorm was turned down: “I believe in the past we have described Ben Wyvis as a mountain under siege and it is our hope that the council rejecting Carn Gorm will send a message to other developers to keep away.

“For many visitors to the Highlands the mountain is the first major view you get of the area when you come over Slochd Summit on the A9 and it is important that view is untainted.

“We can only call so many mountains iconic but Ben Wyvis is important and is genuinely iconic and deserves protection.”

In their decision notice, council planners said they had taken into account the cumulative impact of the turbines within view of the Dingwall-Kyle railway line and the A832 Cromarty-Gairloch.

The John Muir Trust also criticised the plan.

Source:  By Jane Candlish | The Press and Journal | 6 December 2014 | www.pressandjournal.co.uk

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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