March 18, 2021

Wind farm mast proposal attracts objections from locals determined to see off any turbine plans

By John Ross | The Press and Journal | March 18, 2021 |

Plans to erect a mast to gauge conditions for a proposed wind farm near a Highland glen has attracted more than 130 objections.

Developer Vento Ludens wants to erect the 332ft meteorological mast for five years at Tomich where it has plans for the Fiodhag Wind Farm.

The application to Highland Council has led to 134 objections and opponents have restarted a website set up for a previous wind farm which was subsequently refused.

Residents recently questioned the name change of the wind farm, previously known as Fasnakyle.

Vento Ludens has plans for up to 46 turbines to the south and east of Tomich.

The Glen Affric Friends Say No group said the proposed mast site will be in view of the Glen Affric National Nature Reserve and National Scenic Area.

Strathglass Community Council said the application will result in “a large, intrusive and unnatural construction that will have an adverse impact upon landscape, cultural, heritage, tourism and residential amenities”.

Tomich resident Angus Brumhead said: “If you don’t object to the met mast the developer may think this is easy sailing. At least this would put down a marker.”

Vento Ludens project manager Nick Forrest said: “The met mast would be located close to the existing Beauly-Denny overhead power line, in an area identified as having the potential for wind farm development in the Highland Council’s Spatial Framework for Onshore Wind, with NatureScot stating that the proposal is unlikely to affect any designated sites for nature conservation.”

Meanwhile, a community meeting has been called for April 6 to discuss the proposed 15-turbine Kintradwell Wind Farm near Brora.

The meeting, set by Brora Community Council, follows a planning application attracting 25 objections.

Community councillor Ruwan Uduwerage-Perera said: “I have not met anyone here who is against renewable energy. They all see the benefits but do not realise the benefits because our fuel bills go up.”

Paula Batchelor, project manager for renewables company RES, said key design changes were made following local feedback and site survey work which led to the scheme being reduced from 22 turbines to 15 with reduced visibility.

She said RES decided to give a local contractor first refusal on the civil construction work which will secure jobs, while Kintradwell is predicted to provide about £4 million of economic benefit to the area.

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