Charity facing big court bill after unsuccessful bid to halt Highland windfarm

Stronelairg windfarm artist's impression from developers

Wild land charity the John Muir Trust is bracing itself for a massive legal bill after failing to have the plugs pulled on power company SSE’s Stronelairg Windfarm scheme.

The amount is not yet clear. The trust has already paid the Scottish Government £75,000 as a result of its unsuccessful judicial review.

SSE confirmed that it had asked the Court of Session to rule on expenses incurred in the wake of the final approval for its 67-turbine development on 8,650 acres at the south end of Loch Ness.

The firm states on its website that it had “no option but to allow the independent court process determine what it believes is reasonable and appropriate.”

Written objections from the public outnumbered letters of support for the project by 15 to one. It was also opposed by the Cairngorms National Park Authority, the Mountaineering Council of Scotland and three out of four local councillors.

The windfarm promises to power more than 100,000 homes.

The trust would not comment yesterday beyond a website statement to its supporters.

It said: “We’ve been deeply disappointed to have received notification from SSE that they want to pursue JMT for costs and have declared these at £350,000 – which is three times what was previously intimated.

“The final liability will not be known for a few weeks, once the court have decided the final costs. We will make strong representation around the issues of fairness and proportionality.”