Scottish ministers will decide the fate of a giant Perthshire windfarm plan after scathing criticism from council chiefs.
The 25-turbine Crossburns development, earmarked for land near Aberfeldy, has been opposed by Perth and Kinross Council which argued it would have an “unacceptable and adverse impact” on beauty spots Loch Rannoch and Tummel Bridge.
In September, members of the development management committee unanimously agreed to lodge a formal objection to the West Coast Energy scheme.
Now the Scottish Government’s Directorate for Planning and Environmental Appeals (DPEA) has called for a public inquiry to investigate the case.
Because of its scale, the project will need to go before Holyrood ministers for approval.
Perth and Kinross Council was asked for its views as part of a wider consultation exercise.
If approved, the 377ft turbines would be installed on land south-west of Aberfeldy and close to the existing Calliachar Windfarm.
Last year, councillors rejected plans for a seven-turbine expansion of Calliachar, but developers secured planning permission following a successful appeal.
At September’s development management meeting, convener Tom Gray said: “There are many windfarms up in that area already. We have also suffered from the overturning of our refusal for an extension to the Calliachar development, so that will be more turbines there against our wishes.”
Lawyers for West Coast Energy have confirmed to DPEA officers that they intend to press ahead with the Crossburns scheme, despite the council’s objection.
In documents lodged with appeal officials, developers argued the scheme will help meet Scotland’s renewable targets.
A spokesman said: “Crossburns Windfarm has many positive aspects which give it good prospects of delivery.”
He added: “The site is close to a road network that can accommodate turbines of the scale proposed – and has potential to connect to the grid – within the site. These are all factors which will increase the potential for the delivery of this project and its ability to meet Scottish Government targets.”
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