May 13, 2017

Legal warning over revised wind plan near Beauly

By Iain Ramage | The Press and Journal | May 13, 2017 |

Anti-windfarm campaigners have warned of a legal challenge if a slimmed-down scheme near Beauly is approved.

The 10-turbine proposal for Kiltarlity follows the Scottish Government’s rejection of a previous 23-tower plan for the same site at Blairmore Farm.

Druim Ba Sustainable Energy’s latest design has been the subject of a public inquiry over the past fortnight after its rejection by Highland Council planners on the grounds of visual intrusion.

The first proposal triggered one of the strongest campaigns of opposition mounted against a Highland windfarm plan.

Objectors said yesterday a judicial review would follow if government ministers consented the new proposal.

They echoed inquiry evidence from a planning expert that it would breach the council’s recently adopted onshore windfarm guidelines because the site is within a no-go zone for large or medium turbines.

Ian Kelly also advised that “approval would severely undermine the public’s confidence in what’s meant to be a plan-led system.”

If the reporter Robert Seaton recommends approval, turbines up to 414ft high could be built barely a mile from homes.

An expert witness for DBSE argued that the structures would not be “overbearing or dominant.”

No-one from DBSE could be contacted yesterday for comment.

Beauly-based anti windfarm campaigner Lyndsey Ward, an observer at the inquiry, said: “There should be no Druim Ba or Cnoc an Eas windfarm. No amount of spinning can alter guidelines that state ‘no scope for medium or large scale turbines’.

“Approval of either would give objectors a secure route to a judicial review.”

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