A windfarm developer has asked the Scottish Government to allow a controversial wind speed testing mast in the Highlands.
The application by ABO Wind UK Ltd for a 262ft high meterological mast near Beauly was turned down by Highland Council earlier this year.
The device, to be sited near Urchany and Farley Forest, was intended to assess conditions for a proposed windfarm at Allt Carach, on the southern flanks of Glen Strathfarrar.
But the application attracted 276 objections, including some from Australia and the USA.
Now ABO Wind has confirmed it is appealing the decision and wants the council to pay the cost of the “unnecessary appeal”.
Tom Harrison, project manager for the firm, said: “We anticipate that some people will be disappointed with this move, but ultimately we disagree with the decision that was taken and we have decided to make this appeal.
“We are seeking costs from the council as this is an unnecessary appeal that has caused us to incur significant costs and delay. It didn’t need to get this far. However, this is not about the money and in fact if successful we will use the costs to make a further charitable donation.”
Local anti-windfarm campaigner Lyndsey Ward, of Kiltarlity, said she was not surprised by the move.
She added: “We will be examining the appeal documents very carefully to see if ABO wind has actually addressed the reasons for the robust refusal by Highland Council.
“We have professionals on board and ABO should be in no doubt that their plans here in Kilmorack and Strathglass will be fought every step of the way by the ever growing campaign group ABO We Say No.
“We are not sure how many strong messages we have to send to this wind developer before they will listen to us.”
A Highland Council spokeswoman said the local authority could provide a response to the Scottish Government’s Directorate of Planning and Environmental Appeals.