Moray Council will lodge an objection against plans for a 48-turbine wind farm to the south of Forres.
The Clash Gour Holdings development will be decided by the Scottish Government’s energy consents unit, but the local planning authority was asked for its opinion as a statutory consultee.
The proposed development would see turbines of up to 176 metres built on a 3,191 hectare site, 10km south of Forres next to the existing Berryburn wind farm.
Planning officers recommended the authority object, stating the application – as well as a second scenario using smaller turbines – would have an unacceptable significant landscape and visual impact because of the height and location of the turbines.
Councillors spent nearly 90 minutes debating the proposal this morning before going to the vote, where it was agreed an objection should be lodged.
A report before members stated the proposal did not fully accord with Moray Local Development Plan 2015 policies.
It read: “The proposal (both the proposal and scenario B) are inappropriate in terms of their significant adverse impacts on landscape and views within Moray.
“Views from varying distances such as those from Ben Rinnes, the A95 south of Aberlour and the Dava Way would excessively diminish the recreational and visitor experience where the countryside would be overly populated with wind farm developments.”
It also argued the development would result in “complex and unacceptable cumulative views” of wind energy developments.
“At present, Hill of Glaschyle, Berryburn and Paul’s Hill are largely discernible from each other, but the proposed wind farm would see almost continual wind turbines from Altyre Estate southward to the Spey Valley,” the report read.
Other than the Spey catchment area, members heard the proposed site was not subject to any landscape, built environment or nature conversation designations. Members also heard the wind farm would provide in the region of 225-256MW of energy for the next 30 years.
But the report concluded: “On balance, the benefits of the proposal would not outweigh the detrimental landscape and visual impact.”
A move by Councillor Paula Coy to support the plan was defeated by seven votes to three.
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