Highland councillors objected to the scheme despite planning officials recommending approval.
Energy company BayWar.e.UK seeks permission for Corriegarth 2, a 14-turbine extension to Corriegarth 1 wind farm that already has 23 turbines in operation in the Monadhliaths mountain range.
BayWar.e.UK propose that the 14 huge turbines encircle Corriegarth 1, which is sited about 15km north-east of Fort Augustus and 10km south-east of Foyers by Loch Ness.
The company used a section 36 application to try and extend the windfarm.
The turbines would have a maximum blade tip height of 150m, and access tracks, borrow pits, a substation, and control building would be needed on land at Carn na Saobhaidhe, Gorthleck by Inverness.
A Highland Council spokesperson said: “The planning committee raised an objection to the scheme contrary to officers’ recommendation.
“As the council raised an objection to the s36 application and the applicants wish to continue with the scheme then this is passed to the Division of Planning and Environmental Appeals (DPEA) to arrange a public inquiry.”
The DPEA said: “This case has been allocated to two reporters. The reporters are looking at the documents and submissions, and will consider what, if any, further procedures are necessary in order to consider this case. Further details will be forthcoming in due course.”
Stratherrick and Foyers Community Council objected to the extension of the grounds of visual impact pointing out that the current wind farm is one of the most visual in the area and can be seen from many points in the area including the Suidhe Viewpoint.
“The addition of 16 further substantially larger turbines can only exacerbate and further blight the area,” said the council. “With tourism being the main economy for South Loch Ness, further deterioration of the mountains and the views will take its toll.
“Those in the community that have chosen to live in this rural area, whilst appreciating the need for renewable energy, have expressed serious concerns about the ever increasing number of wind farms and the upheaval that their construction brings.”
The district council also points out potential road danger and damage during construction, stating that the B851 and B862 are narrow, twisting, often single track roads never designed for heavy construction traffic.
Highland Council planners in recommending approval said: “It is considered that the proposal accords with the principles and policies contained within the Development Plan and is acceptable in terms of all other applicable material considerations.”
BayWar.e.UK points out that this development can proceed before 2030, thus delivering a boost to achieving net zero with a project size which is exceeding 50MW.
It says there are no unacceptable impacts on national designated areas or Wild Land Areas, and no consultees object.
There are no contentions that residential amenity would be harmed, it adds, and there are no cultural heritage, ornithological, hydrological, peat or other issues in play.
The company said: “There are, as always, some significant landscape and visual effects to be considered. The effects in this case are not out of the ordinary.”
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