Moray’s Brown Muir will remain turbine free after councillors refused a proposed wind farm.
Developers vento ludens had hoped to create a 12-turbine development on a hillside site between Fogwatt and Rothes.
But following a 30-minute debate this afternoon, members of Moray Council’s planning and regulatory services committee narrowly voted against the development.
That followed a recommendation from officers that it be refused on the grounds of “significant adverse landscape and visual effects”.
Speyside Councillors Pearl Paul and Mike McConachie disagreed that it would have an unacceptable impact and moved that the development be approved. Councillor Paul said the proposal was in an “area of search” for wind developments; had been sensitively sited; and would bring economic benefits to the area.
She also questioned when Brown Muir became a landmark hill.
“It was just a bump on the landscape to be quite honest and then suddenly it became a landmark. I find that quite misleading to be honest because we barely even thought of it as a hill,” she said.
Proposing that it be refused in line with the officers’ report was Councillor Allan Wright, backed by committee chairman Councillor Chris Tuke. Councillor Tuke said he accepted that the developers had gone some way to reducing the impact.
“But in my mind, and in 1,337 other people’s minds, this is an unacceptable visual impact on the landscape,” he said.
With the vote hanging in the balance at 6-6, Councillor Tuke, as committee chair, had the casting vote and the application was refused.
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