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Windfarm company seeks judicial review over turbine refusal

A photomontage of the Glenmorie windfarm.
A photomontage of the Glenmorie windfarm.

A windfarm company is seeking a judicial review of the refusal of their plans in the Highlands, claiming that the government’s decision was “flawed”.

The Glenmorie windfarm was turned down by Energy minister Fergus Ewing in August, after he agreed with the findings of a public local inquiry reporter.

The reporter stated that the windfarm, between Ardross and Ardgay, would have unacceptable landscape and visual impacts, including on wild land.

But now the developer, Glenmorie Windfarm LLP – a partnership of AES Wind Generation and Wind Energy – claims that “significant material issues” were omitted from the reporter’s final report.

They also claim that the process leading to the decision was “flawed”.

The developers are now petitioning for a judicial review, with the hope of winning consent for the 34 turbine proposals.

Each of the devices will be around 410 ft high. The developers claim that it will generate up to 114MW of electricity, which could potentially power up to 61,000 homes.

Glenmorie Windfarm LLP project manager Lizzie Foot said “After significant consideration and legal advice, we have decided to petition for a judicial review of the decision. We support Scottish Government’s policy of approving the right wind farm in the right place, and we don’t believe the energy minister was given the proper information to enable him to make that assessment.”

She added that they wanted to ensure that the procedures used to prepare information for ministers are rigorous.

The company believe that in this case there have been important omissions and errors which resulted in Minister Fergus Ewing reaching a negative view of the project.

The plans, which also included 20 miles of access tracks, went to public local inquiry last year after the Highland Council raised an objection.

The windfarm had generated significant opposition from national conservation groups, including the John Muir Trust.

A local campaign group, Save Our Straths, was also set up.

Their spokesman said yesterday: “When we read the reporter’s decision, we thought it was a thorough and even-handed reading of the issues.”

He added the community is going to be very disappointed.

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