Outlander author Diana Gabaldon has branded plans to create a huge windfarm at a Highland Perthshire beauty spot as “insane”.
The US writer condemned the proposed 24-turbine development at Loch Rannoch after the site was featured on a tourist trail for fans of her wildly successfully TV series.
VisitScotland, which compiled the Outlander map, is under pressure to publicly oppose the Talladh a Bheithe windfarm.
If approved, rows of 450ft turbines would be created on wild land between Loch Rannoch and Loch Ericht.
Gabaldon, 63, said last night it would be “insane” to allow the windfarm and damage tourism to the area.
“One of the most gratifying things about the TV show is that we were able to film it in Scotland and that the staggering natural beauty of Scotland is as much a character as are any of the actors,” she said.
“I’ve heard from hundreds of fans that seeing the show has convinced them that they must go to Scotland and from hundreds more who have already come to experience it for themselves.”
Gabaldon, a former ecologist, added: “Frankly, given the undoubted economic value of tourism to Scotland, it seems insane to sacrifice one of its most scenic landscapes for the sake of an electrical pittance.”
Netherlands-based developer Eventus BV revealed its bid last year and a final decision on the scheme is likely to be made by councillors in the coming weeks.
The Talladh a Bheithe scheme has attracted criticism from several organisations, including the Mountaineering Council of Scotland.
Chief officer David Gibson said the Scottish Government should rule out all large-scale windfarms planned for wild and natural areas which are deemed “essential” to Scottish tourism.
A VisitScotland spokesman said: “Windfarms and other renewable energy projects are a part of the landscape in nearly every destination in the world.
“As with any development which could impact on the natural landscape, such projects should be sensitive to their surroundings and involve a full consultation with all interested parties.”
Gabaldon’s books, which have sold 25 million copies worldwide, were made into a hit TV series last year and attracted more than five million viewers.
It is the biggest single TV or film production made in Scotland and is said to be worth millions to the local economy.
A second series has been announced as thought to be worth £20m to Scottish tourism.
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