Mountaineers Welcome Decision on Wind Farm Scheme

The Mountaineering Council of Scotland (MCofS) welcomed the news made on the 12th February that the Highland Council North Planning Committee decided to reject two industrial-scale onshore wind farm planning proposals. The MCofS is made of 11,400 members; representing hill walkers, climbers and mountaineers.

The Glemorie Wind Farm (north of Dingwall) and Dalnessie Wind Farm (13km Northeast of Lairg) – who were going to comprise of 61 turbines and associated infrastructure, including 55km of access track – were rejected due to contravening Highland Council planning policy, and were described as an “inappropriate development”.

MCofS Chief Officer, David Gibson stated, “They would have a significant visual impact on the mountains and other wild land, and adversely affect a broad swathe of Scotland’s finest landscapes.”

Gibson believes that members of the Planning Committee have acted in the best interest of their constituents, and as custodians of some unique and very special landscapes in the broader public interest. However, Gibson also said, “We still fail to understand why Highland Council planning officials originally recommended that the Council should ‘raise no objection’ to Glenmorie and Dalnessie given their own policy and the obvious impact on recognised and designated landscape areas.”

He also stressed that, “The MCofS have objected to only 6% of the onshore developments tracked by Scottish Natural Heritage. We seek protection for the mountains through changes to Scottish Government planning policy. They [Scottish Government] must act to provide protection for our superb landscape. Given this is the Year of Natural Scotland, we believe that is the minimum they should do.”

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