Wild land campaigners are popping the champagne corks today at news that the Scottish Government has refused the Allt Duine wind farm. The controversial proposal would have seen a huge wind farm built in the Monadhliath mountains immediately adjacent to the Cairngorms National Park.
'The Scottish Government’s policy on wind farms strikes a careful balance between maximising Scotland’s huge green energy potential and protecting some of our most scenic landscape and wild areas' said Deputy first minister John Swinney.
'We have been clear that wind farms can only be built in the right places and Scottish Planning Policy sets out rigorous steps to ensure wind farms are sited appropriately and sensitively.'
'I have considered the Allt Duine application fully and have refused permission as the proposal would have a significant and unacceptable landscape and visual impacts in the local area, including on the Cairngorms National Park and on a wild land area.'
Having long argued against it, the Cairngorms National Park Authority, the MCofS and the Save Monadhliath Mountains campaign have been among those to welcome the news.
Commenting on the decision, MCofS Chief Officer David Gibson said:
'Like many other organisations and individuals we worked hard to seek refusal of consent for this development. We hope this is evidence of a firm and consistent commitment by the Scottish Government to the protection of wild land and Scotland’s mountains from similar massive industrial scale developments. That would demonstrate that it understands the value of wild land and the need to protect its special qualities for the benefit of all.'
'We now call on the government to reinforce that commitment by providing unambiguous protection for mapped wild land through a new and clear designation in planning policy. It should also refuse planning consent for the industrial scale developments at Sallachy and Glencassley, both located in wild land area 34, as failure to do so would undermine the integrity of the wild land map.'