Highland Council have refused planning permission for a controversial wind farm in the foothills of Ben Wyvis. The news has been welcomed by campaigners including wild land charity the John Muir Trust (JMT).
The proposed 14-turbine developmentat at Carn Gorm would have been adjacent to a key Wild Land Area, and had drawn strong criticism for its landscape impact (see UKH news here).
Three reasons were given for the council's decision, including the fact that the development “would be detrimental to Wild Land Area 29 – Rhiddoroch-Beinn Dearg-Ben Wyvis”.
The refusal also took into account the cumulative impact of existing wind farms in an area that's already not short of them, and the effect on both tourism and the quality of life for local residents.
The JMT’s Head of Policy Helen McDade said yesterday:
'This is a victory for wild land and for commonsense. The Trust vigorously objected to the development. We are delighted that the Highland Council has taken this decision.'
'We are especially heartened at the council’s recognition that this development would potentially undermine one of the recently mapped Wild Land Areas, as recognised in Scottish Planning Policy 2014.'
'This decision should send a clear message to developers to steer clear of the 42 Wild Land Areas mapped earlier this year by Scottish Natural Heritage and supported by the John Muir Trust.'
'The Trust is committed to the Scottish Government’s greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets. But we do not believe the construction of industrial-scale wind energy developments on or around wild land is necessary to achieve these targets.'