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Objectors declare victory after Highland wind farm plan scrapped  

Credit:  By Iain Ramage | The Press and Journal | 26 December 2015 | www.pressandjournal.co.uk ~~

Objectors are celebrating after plans for six giant wind turbines on the edge of a stunning Highland glen were scrapped.

The proposed Beinn Mhor scheme at Tomich would have consisted of half a dozen 392ft tall masts.

It was rejected by a Scottish Government reporter.

Energy firm wpd planned to challenge the decision at the Court of Session – but has now dropped the appeal.

Neither the company nor the landowner could be contacted yesterday.

The scheme provoked a chorus of opposition in a fragile community with a big investment in tourism.

It prompted 1,252 objections. There were 181 letters of support.

Ian Campbell, of local campaign group “Glen Affric Friends Say No”, said: “We’ll definitely celebrate with a glass of champagne.

“We’re delighted and, in the same week as ABO Wind’s (Allt Carach) proposal was withdrawn along Strathglass as well, it really is a great Christmas present.”

Fellow objector Paul Stirling, who has holiday homes at Tomich, said: “This is a huge relief for residents and those who campaigned against the wrong development in the wrong place.”

In October, objectors sought an apology from wpd for implying that people were “misled” about the “conservation status” of the village.

wpd had carried an item on its website headlined “Public misled by misuse of ‘conservation village’ title”.

It was a reference to Forestry Commission Scotland signposts which stated “Conservation village, please drive carefully”.

The signs were vandalised in June, while the inquiry reporter was considering the evidence.

They were erected years earlier to try to curb the speed of timber lorries travelling through the community.

Highland Council confirmed that Tomich “includes a conservation area which covers much of the village”.

Anti-windfarm campaigner Lyndsey Ward said: “This is fantastic news, hot on the heels of the ABO Wind withdrawal. The legal action by wpd was unfounded and an unnecessary expense for the Scottish people.”

wpd had expressed “shock” at Scottish Government reporter Richard Hickman’s conclusions.

It also questioned the democratic process, claiming the verdict had “severe impacts on the integrity of the Scottish planning system”.

Source:  By Iain Ramage | The Press and Journal | 26 December 2015 | www.pressandjournal.co.uk

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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