A public show of hands has overwhelmingly rejected proposals for a Glenurquhart windfarm.
Almost all of the 140 people attending a public meeting at Balnain on the issue on Monday night raised their hands in opposition to plans by French firm EDF Energy Renewables and Scottish developer Force 9 Energy to build 13 turbines up to 448feet tall near Loch Meikle in the Great Glen.
Just one person voted in support of the plan. A handful of others declared themselves undecided.
The gathering was hosted by Glenurquhart Community Council to gauge local thinking before registering its opinion with Highland Council.
The developer described the event as “useful”. Windfarm objectors said the vote demonstrated the strength of local opposition.
Andrew Smith of Force 9 Energy said: “We were pleased to have the opportunity to illustrate the very limited visual and noise effects of the proposed windfarm.
“It was particularly useful to have the opportunity to challenge some of the misconceptions circulating locally about the project.
“We took time to explain that the windfarm is set well away from properties, will not be widely visible in the surrounding area and, importantly, has very limited effects upon tourist and walking routes.”
Force 9 Energy has promised a community fund from the Cnoc an Eas scheme, if it is approved.
Cliff Green of the pressure group Stop Turbines at Glenurquhart said: “The Cnoc an Eas windfarm would dominate the landscape and change the character of the area. It would be on the south facing slopes of the glen and tower above houses beneath.”
Many attending the meeting raised concerns that the turbines would impact negatively on local lifeline tourism. Several claimed it would lower the value of their home.
One member of the audience informed the meeting that earlier in the day, she had discovered that her property sale had fallen through because the buyer was concerned about the possibility of windfarm developments in the area.
Community council secretary Pam Lucas said: “We’re still considering our response.”
Balnain, near Drumnadrochit, is among many communities within a 22-mile radius of Loch Ness that campaigners fear will merge into a 600-plus turbine “ring of steel” on surrounding hillsides that could ultimately deter tourists.
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