Commercial forest gives way to wind farm in Scottish Highlands

Scottish Ministers have accepted the findings of their reporter in approving a large wind farm at a commercial forestry block in the Scottish Highlands.

The 39 turbines would contribute 130 MW of energy and would be installed at a 1,600-hectare forest, surrounded by a Special Protection Area and Ramsar site. The turbines would be up to 135 metres in height. The ministers agreed with their reporter that the tree-felling involved and re-instatement to moorland would represent an improvement to the landscape character of the area and support peatland revival. Wild land areas would not be adversely affected. Potential effects on protected birds such as red-throated diver, greenshank and hen harrier, the main reason for the SPA designation, were discounted based on the evidence. Finally, ministers accepted the energy benefits of the scheme and carbon payback times met national and local policy requirements and overcame any limited environmental effects.

Inspector: Alasdair Edwards; Inquiry


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