The Swedish energy firm planning a wind farm just outside Grantown has revealed that it is appealing against Highland Council’s refusal to allow the trial of two meteorological masts at the site.
Vattenfall is challenging the local authority planning committee’s rejection of their plans for the temporary wind-measuring masts relating to their Ourack Wind Energy Project.
The site abuts the Cairngorms Natonal Park boundary some six kilometres north of the Strathspey capital.
The appeal has been lodged with the Department of Planning and Environmental Appeals, and comes three months after the plan was rejected by the council’s South Planning Applications Committee.
At the time of the decision, Vattenfall, which is owned by the Swedish state, warned that the decision to refuse permission for the two temporary 90-metre masts could cause unnecessary delay to important energy infrastructure investment.
Frank Park, Vattenfall’s project manager for the Ourack Wind Energy Project, said at the time: “We strongly believe there is an opportunity to develop a good wind farm on the Ourack site which not only makes an important contribution to Scotland’s climate change obligations but also to the local community and the regional economy.
“We have taken the view, therefore, that an appeal to the Department of Planning and Environmental Appeals is the right way forward, and we are confident that we can make a strong case to overturn the decision by the committee for two temporary met masts.”
Vattenfall began engagement with local residents about the Ourack Wind Energy Project in January.
In February it applied to Highland Council for permission to erect two temporary meteorological masts to measure wind speeds on the 30-square-kilometre Ourack wind energy development site.
Permission was refused to develop the test masts, despite the planning officer’s recommendation of approval.
SNP Badenoch and Strathspey councillor Bill Lobban told the committee meeting on April 1 that the masts, proposed for west of Larig Hill and east of Dava Farm Cottage, would have a devastating impact on the beauty of the Dava Moor area.
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