Plans for a 24-turbine windfarm in Caithness have been dealt a blow after councillors decided to object to the scheme.
Members of Highland Council’s north planning committee overturned advice from officials in order to oppose the Limekiln Windfarm.
The committee heard there were concerns about the impact on nearby wild land, the village of Reay and the road network – including views from the popular North Coast 500 tourist route.
The development by Infinergy would include nine 413ft turbines, and 15 of 456ft.
The council’s planning department had recommended that no objection should be raised as long as the company agreed to remove or relocate three of the turbines closest to Reay.
Concerns against the development were led by Landward Caithness councillors David Bremner and Matthew Reiss.
The committee unanimously agreed to oppose the development.
The final decision rests with Scottish ministers after a public inquiry.
Fiona Milligan, of Infinergy, said: “We are extremely disappointed that the north planning application committee have again objected to our proposal, despite the findings of Scottish ministers following the last public inquiry.
“But we are encouraged that the professional opinion of the planning officer at the Highland Council was to recommend no objection.
“We were also happy to go as far as to remove three turbines closest to Reay, which was one of several options of mitigation the planning officer sought.
“We continue to believe that Limekiln has a huge potential, not only to reduce carbon emissions to help meet the Scottish Government’s ambitious electricity generation targets, but to also provide significant investment and economic benefits to the local area.”
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