Residents of a picturesque Highland glen have gone head-to-head with developers over a wind farm name change.
Developer Vento Ludens has told residents in the areas likely to be impacted by the wind farm near Glen Affric that the project name has changed from Fasnakyle to Fiodhag.
The proposal covers 5,000 acres to the south-east of Tomich expanding into areas of Guisachan Forest.
The turbines, almost 500ft tall , would overlook the surrounding landscape which includes the Glen Affric Natural Nature Reserve, Wild Land Area and Scenic Landscape Areas.
Vento Ludens says the Fasnakyle originally name came from majority of the project being located on Forestry and Land Scotland estate that forms part of the forestry block known as Fasnakyle, but that the windfarm would be sited on the other side of the glen from the hamlet known as Fasnakyle, hence the re-naming.
The new name, Fiodhag is after a small river on the south-eastern boundary of the proposed site, one of the furthest points from the Glen Affric nature reserve.
Tomich resident Angus Brumhead said: “The new name implies it to be almost two miles further from Glen Affric than is the case, and nearer to an operational development of five turbines, Corrimony, perhaps suggesting it is within an area already impacted by turbines and therefore not such a problem visually.
“Surely a more honest and descriptive name would be Guisachan or Affric – but clearly the developers are fully aware using either of these more accurate names would cause outrage.”
Project manager Matthew Haughton of Vento Ludens said there were valid reasons for the change in name of the project, including comments from local residents.
“The change to Fiodhag wind farm gives a clearer indication of the project’s location given Allt nam Fiodhag’s prominence on the local Ordnance Survey map.
““The Fiodhag Wind Farm would contribute to meeting Scotland’s climate change targets and create a significant community benefit fund to be invested in the local area.
“The company is committed to offering the opportunity for shared ownership to the local community and the current design would result in a community benefit fund of more than £1m a year.”
Vento Ludens is currently revising the design of the site, with the revised plans available for comment later this year or in the first half of next year.
There are already two wind farms in the area Bhlaraidh with 32 turbines and Corrimony with five.
Peter Small runs the Tomich Hotel, and says he’s most concerned for future generations.
He said: “This is a destination for walkers, cyclists and runners, they don’t come by accident.
“If this development goes ahead they will have a broadside view of turbines from the start of their climb.
“Everyone recognises the valued contribution of renewable energy but surely developers must be selective in the areas they choose, not one of the finest glens in Scotland as Forestry and Land Scotland has described it.
“Future generations won’t have the chance to see the valley unspoiled, all for short-term gain.”
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