A plea by a wind farm developer for a two-year time extension for a major 17 turbine project has been unceremoniously rejected by Inverness south planning applications committee.
Meeting in Inverness on Tuesday, Nanclach Ltd hit a major stumbling block when its bid to have its existing permission for Tom Nan Clach Wind Farm at Glenferness extended from three years to five was thrown out.
Nanclach is proposing a 17-turbine development with an output of 39MX and the current planning permission expires on June 16.
The contentious development, which lies within the Drynachan, Lochindorb and Dava Moor Special Landscape Area, has previously twice been rejected by the planning committee and then overturned on appeal.
Planning officers recommended the application be approved.
Cawdor and West Nairnshire Community Council supported the Nanclach application.
It said: “It has previously been identified that there will be huge economic benefits from this scheme during construction and operation. Investigation works are already under way and therefore it is the clear intention that the wind farm will be built.
“There is no change in the visual amenity or indeed any other factor and this application is merely an opportunity to offer the developer more time to comply with the rigours of the conditions associated with the development.
“We therefore urge Highland Council to approve the application to extend the duration of the planning application for Tom Nan Clach Wind Farm.”
Michael Green, Nairn, told the committee: “This is a very special area and with the enhanced status Lochindorb, Drynachan and Dava has, I think we should refuse this application.
“It would be on the grounds of this area’s enhanced status.”
Councillor Green moved for refusal and was seconded by Badenoch and Strathspey councillor
Committee chairman Councillor
Jimmy Gray, supported by Councillor
Thomas Prag, put forward an amendment that the application be approved but when it came to the vote they were soundly beaten by 14 votes to two.