Scottish Government officials have been urged to respect the view of Moray communities and throw out the latest plan for huge wind farm expansion.
The council objected to plans from Fred Olsen Renewables this week to build 29 turbines up to 738ft tall as part of a development christened Rothes III.
The objection is the third time within the last year that the authority has attempted to block a wind energy plan amid concerns about the effect it will have on the local landscape – with final decisions about other proposals near Knockando and south of Forres still to be made.
However, the Scottish Government will make the final decision about all three projects due to the amount of power that can be generated by them.
Yesterday Highlands and Islands MSP Jamie Halcro Johnston called on Holyrood to respect local views and throw out the Rothes III plans.
He said: “Not only are local people horrified by the prospect of yet more giant wind turbines encroaching on this beautiful part of upland Moray, but they are fearful that the Scottish Government will again ignore the views of their elected representatives.
“This is simply not acceptable. We should remember that local people will have to live with the consequences of these decisions for decades, long after the ministers and civil servants in Holyrood will have forgotten about them.
“We should not expect communities in Moray to have these developments foisted on them with local opposition simply overruled or ignored.”
Figures released last year showed that the Scottish Government overturned the original decision from councils to reject turbine developments in four out of 10 cases.
During Moray Council’s planning committee meeting this week concerns were raised that wind farm developers were not submitted plans for an area deemed suitable for development by authority planners.
A Scottish Government spokesman confirmed a public inquiry would be held to settle the Rothes III proposals.
He said: “A decision will be taken following the consideration of all environmental information.
“Ministers, as is always the case, will take into account all consultation responses received alongside any representations received from members of the public before reaching a determination on the application.”