Developer Falck Renewables, the firm behind the controversial Clach Liath wind farm proposal in the foothills of Ben Wyvis, have confirmed that it will not appeal the recent decision by The Highland Council to refuse them planning permission.
Conservation groups have welcomed the news, which comes a month after planners rejected the proposal to build 17 turbines, each up to 127m, in this sensitive location.
The Mountaineering Council of Scotland (MCofS) were among those who objected to the plan - see here on UKH. In response to today's announcement David Gibson, Chief Officer of the MCofS said:
'[This] represents a victory for common sense, local democracy and the recognition that Scotland's wonderful mountain landscapes should not be treated as an asset which can be milked for huge profits by multinational companies and landowners. It's also a tribute to the many that have campaigned for this proposal to be scrapped.'
'We hope that the principles which guided local councillors to reach this decision will be followed by Fergus Ewing, who as minister will have personal responsibility for making decisions on a large number of section 36 wind farm applications in the planning pipeline. Many of these proposed developments would, if allowed to proceed, ruin much of Scotland's iconic highland landscape forever.'
Clach Liath is just one of many proposals for Highland wind farms currently in the pipeline. The MCofS have repeatedly called on the Scottish Government to safeguard Scotland's mountains from such developments through the implementation of a national spatial planning policy for onshore wind farms.
'Unless protective measures are put in place' says Gibson, 'there will be more proposals like Clach Liath, which will threaten the landscape, cause local authorities to spend time and money on speculative planning applications, and threaten the livelihoods of tourism businesses in fragile rural areas.'
'It's time for the Scottish Government to show leadership now and protect Scotland's finest natural asset - its landscape.'