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River operators warn Meall Buidhe wind farm proposal would have 'potentially serious consequences for local economy'

By Caroline McMorran

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Highland Council planners have received a flood of objections to a Sutherland wind farm proposal.

Around 290 representations have so far been made to the authority in connection with the nine-turbine Meall Buidhe scheme. The majority, but not all, of these are objections.

Meall Buidhe Renewables LLP are seeking consent to erect the turbines, measuring 149.5 metres to blade tip, on open moorland, six miles south of Rosehall.

The Meall Buidhe proposal comprises nine turbines measuring 149.5 metres to blade tip.
The Meall Buidhe proposal comprises nine turbines measuring 149.5 metres to blade tip.

The land lies on Croick Estate and the site is located 8km from the operational Rosehall and Achany wind farms and 10km from the consented Braemore wind farm.

Objectors, including campaign group No Ring of Steel (NORoS) say the development would further “industrialise” an area already burdened by wind farms.

Concerns have been raised about the visual effect of the larger turbines on the landscape, the likely noise nuisance, road access, and other worries.

In their objection, the proprietors of the Lower Oykel have warned that the wind farm has “potentially serious consequences” for their angling business.

“The objection states: “Salmon fishers are very mobile and if the Rosehall area continues to be industrialised by surrounding the area with highly visible wind farms, this could be the final straw that persuades them to fish on other rivers not impacted by these ugly turbines.

“This could cause a collapse in the local economy which totally depends on anglers.”

Ardgay and District Community Council has said it is taking a “neutral stance” on the development.

The north planning applications committee is not expected to decide the application before the new year.

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