Wind farm not right for Scottish wild land area

A wind farm in the Great Glen of the Highlands was refused for its significant adverse impact on a designated wild land area.

The 13 turbines of up to 150 metres in height were to be sited on rolling upland moorland in the Great Glen.

The issue of most concern for the reporter was the impact of the proposed turbines and their associated infrastructure on a designated wild land area (WLA), a nationally important asset as per the Scottish NPF, where wind farms are allowed "in some circumstances" but only where their significant effects can be overcome.

The appellant’s WLA assessment concluded the proposal would not undermine the integrity of the whole WLA. However, the reporter disagreed and considered that although the impact of the turbines was restricted to the moorland part of the WLA, this impact was still significant enough to affect the whole WLA in terms of its partial diminishment and loss. He felt a reduction in the turbines’ height would not mitigate this impact. Although he acknowledged the benefits of the proposed development in respect of climate change mitigation and net economic effect, he did not consider it adequately protected landscape or, in respect of visual amenity, the wider environment. He did not consider it would be the right development in the right place.

Reporter: Robert Seaton; Inquiry

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