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Mountaineers call on Rannoch windfarm plan to be dropped

Talladh-a-Bheithe windfarm
Talladh-a-Bheithe windfarm

A coalition of mountaineers, conservation groups, residents and politicians have united in a bid to block a controversial windfarm planned near Rannoch Moor.

They have now written a joint letter to the developers, calling for the plans to be abandoned.

Dutch developer Eventus BV has applied to build 24 wind turbines, each 410ft high between Loch Rannoch and Loch Ericht.

Nearly 1,000 formal objections have been made to the Scottish Government, with the Mountaineering Council of Scotland (MCofS), the John Muir Trust and local campaign group Keep Rannoch Wild leading the campaign.

They say that the turbines would destroy the special landscape qualities of one of Scotland’s last remaining areas of wilderness.

Cairngorm National Park also objected to the plans after raising fears that the turbines could spoil views from some of the area’s most famous peaks.

The MCofS estimate that the turbines would visible from more than 30 Munros, including Schiehallion, Ben Alder, the Drumochter hills and Buachaille Etive Mor in Glencoe.

The turbines would also be visible from the iconic West Highland Railway line and the A82 road – the main tourist route through the West Highlands.

David Gibson, chief officer of the MCofS, which represents Scottish mountaineers and hill walkers, said: “Wind energy is supposed to help us protect the environment – not ruin the most precious and beautiful parts of our country.

“We are calling on the developers to recognise that this application has been a huge mistake – something that is absolutely clear from the enormous level of opposition it has caused.”

The John Muir Trust, has described the scheme as “a knife in the heart of Scotland’s natural beauty”.

Helen McDade, John Muir Trust head of policy, said: “Not only is this one of Scotland’s most stunning areas of wild land but the site is on a deep peatbog which locks carbon into the soil.

“Ironically, this wind development will release excessive carbon into the atmosphere – the opposite of what such renewable energy schemes are supposed to do.”

Douglas Wynn of Keep Rannoch Wild said: “This is a speculative and totally insensitive proposal which would do great damage – if by any unfortunate chance it was allowed.

“It is strongly opposed by most residents and also by all nine sporting estates in Rannoch which have expressed a view.”

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