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Turbine plan row as council blasts landscape ‘blight’

Moray Council is making a desperate bid to prevent wind turbines from becoming one of the region’s defining features.

Officials yesterday submitted a strongly-worded objection to the Scottish Government over plans for 29 giant new towers in Strathspey.

Energy giant Fred Olsen Renewables has lodged plans for the turbines, each measuring up to 738 feet, with ministers as the development is so large it bypasses the council.

Called Rothes III, it would be the latest in a series of sites to take shape in the area and the authority fears it would lead to a “turbine landscape” being formed.

It has already objected to two other significant wind farm plans this year – Paul’s Hill II at Knockando and Clashgour near Forres.

Forres councillor Claire Feaver said the cumulative impact of all three could be the appearance that wind farms “covered 80 to 85% of the northern part of Moray”.

The council’s principal planning officer, Neal McPherson, meanwhile, said the their impact would be significant on views from Ben Rinnes, Ben Aigen and the A95.

He warned the wind farm proliferation would “excessively diminish the recreational and visitor experience” of Moray’s countryside.

The Scottish Government will decide on all three plans.