Reporter blocks 14-turbine Highland wind farm

An application to build 14 wind turbines near Carn Gorm in the Highlands has been rejected by a Scottish government reporter, who ruled that the scheme conflicted with the area's local development plan.

Ben Wyvis (pic neil roger via Flickr)
Ben Wyvis (pic neil roger via Flickr)

Reporter RW Maslin rejected the appeal by PI Renewables against Highland Council’s decision to refuse permission for the scheme.

The turbines, which would have a height of up to 115 metres to their blade tips, would be seen from parts of 1,046 metre-tall mountain Ben Wyvis, according to the reporter.

RW Maslin found that development would have an unacceptable impact on, and would be significantly detrimental to, the Ben Wyvis special landscape area, and thus did not accord with policies in the Highland-wide local development plan.

The reporter added that the cumulative effect of the proposed development across the Ben Wyvis part of the Rounded Hills landscape character type would be significant and at one point, along with other existing schemes, "give a feeling of being surrounded by wind farm development".

Maslin said in a decision letter: "The benefits of the proposed development are clearly outweighed by the extent of the conflict with development plan policies and … the proposed development does not accord overall with the relevant provisions of the development plan. This conflict justifies refusal of planning permission."

The letter added that the presumption in favour of sustainable development, and the proposed scheme’s accordance with other aspects of national policy, would not be sufficient to outweigh the conflict with protecting landscape and safeguarding the character of areas of wild land.

"There are no material considerations that would justify approval in the face of these conflicts and the appeal should be dismissed," concluded the letter.

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