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Planning consent refused for major windfarm because impact ‘too great’

Energy minister Fergus Ewing said the impact of the windfarm at Caithness would be 'too great'.

Windfarm Wind farm turbine. Quality image. GV of the Griffin Wind Farm near Aberfeldy in Perthshire
© HEMEDIA / SWNS Group

Energy minister Fergus Ewing has refused planning consent for a proposed windfarm at Spittal Hill in Caithness.

The energy minister found that the impact of the proposed windfarm on the occupants of nearby properties was too high.

He also found that the cumulative impact of the windfarm on views when considered together with existing and consented windfarms nearby, was too high.

The application was for a 77.5MW, 30 turbine windfarm on a hill 1.2km north east of Spittal Village, Caithness and was submitted by Spittal Hill Windfarm Limited.

The local planning authority, the Highland Council, objected to the application and so a public local inquiry was held in May 2011. Following that inquiry an independent reporter appointed by Scottish Ministers recommended that consent should be refused.

Energy minster Fergus Ewing said: "Scotland has enormous potential for renewable energy that is delivering jobs and investment across Scotland, and I am determined to ensure communities all over Scotland reap the benefit from renewable energy but not at any cost and we will ensure a balanced approach in taking forward this policy, as we have in the past and will in future.

"The Scottish Government wants to see the right developments in the right places and Scottish planning policy is clear that the design and location of any windfarm should reflect the scale and character of the landscape and should be considered environmentally acceptable.

"The impact of this proposed windfarm on the landscape, and the impact it would have on the homes of those who live closest to it, is too great."

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