Mountaineers are objecting to a proposed a unique wind farm project just to the south of the Cairngorms National Park.
Eneco Wind UK Ltd has applied for permission to build 18 turbines of up to 410ft in height in two distinct groups at Macritch Hill, near Backwater Reservoir, Kirriemuir.
It is on land owned by Scottish Water and the utility is looking to the development to generate up to one-third of its energy requirement to cut its £40 million electricity bill.
But the Mountaineering Council of Scotland (MCofS) says that the northern group of seven turbines will cause unacceptable harm to the landscape of nearby hills.
David Gibson, Chief Officer of the MCofS, added: “This is a particularly attractive landscape, offering big skies and high, wide horizons within easy reach of large urban populations, so it is visited repeatedly by local mountaineers as well as attracting visitors from a distance.”
He said there were two Munros (mountains over 3,000ft), Mayar and Dreish, and the Corbett (2,500ft-3,000ft) Monameanach, together with Mount Blair and Cat Law all within five miles. Within nine and a half miles of the proposed northern array of turbines, there were two further Munros, Glas Maol and Craig Leacach, and the Corbett Ben Tirran.
But A Scottish Water spokesman said: “Renewable energy can help reduce the long-term costs of providing water services. We welcome all comments on the proposal to help inform the planning process. Our development partner has led extensive stakeholder and community engagement and carefully taken all factors into account, including to minimise visual impact.”
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