Glenmorie wind farm

Published: 30th December 2011

Updated 3 March 2016

An application for a wind farm at Glenmorie was submitted by developer Glenmorie Wind Farm, near Bonar Bridge, in June 2012. The proposal was originally for 43 turbines but was subsequently reduced to 34.

The Glenmorie wind farm would be sited on the Glencalvie & Kildermorie estates, approximately 10 km south-west of Bonar Bridge in the Highland Council area. The site lies just inside the southern boundary of Wild Land Area 29: Rhiddoroch-Beinn Dearg-Ben Wyvis.

We submitted an objection to this development in December 2011 because of the impact it would have on wild land as identified by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH). We considered these impacts would be significant and inappropriate for the location.

A Public Local Inquiry into this development took place in October 2013. We submitted evidence that the development would have a significant adverse impact on wild land, that the applicant’s assessment of the effects on wild land was inadequate, and that the applicant’s assessment underplayed the impact the development would have both on its own and in terms of cumulative impacts. You can read our closing submission in the downloads below. 

The development was subsequently refused by the Scottish Government - its only decision in favour of wild land since the publication of the Wild Land Areas map in June 2014.

The developers sought a review of the process leading to the decision to refuse consent. The case went to Judicial Review in 2015. On 1 March 2016 we learnt that the Court of Session had upheld the refusal. In her judgement, Lady Wise ruled that:- "Notwithstanding the eloquence of the submissions made by senior counsel for the petitioner, I can detect no procedural unfairness, illegality, lack or reasoning, or methodological error that might justify reducing the decision intimated on August 21 2014”.

Helen McDade, Head of Policy at the John Muir Trust, said:-

“This is great news. The John Muir Trust put the case at the previous Public Local Inquiry, alongside local group, Save Our Straths, that this development would have on a severe impact on views and wild land landscapes. Of particular concern was the impact on views of Ben Wyvis and the Dornoch Firth area. The Inquiry Reporter and the Minister, Fergus Ewing, agreed with that assessment and that has now been endorsed by the Judge, Lady Wise. In view of her conclusion that, “the reporter's analysis was comprehensive, well explained and reached after obvious consideration of both the submissions made to her and the accompanied and unaccompanied site visits she undertook”. It is a pity that the developer wasted public money and time with this Appeal, extending the uncertainty for local people.”