Culachy wind farm

Published: 16th March 2015

Updated 30 April 2018 - Culachy refused

Viewpoint 3 culachy

RES image: developer's visualisation

In March 2015 the Trust objected to an application for a 13 turbine wind farm at Culachy, south of Fort Augustus due to concerns about the impact on Wild Land Area 19: Braeroy – Glenshirra – Creag Meagaidh, as well as the potential for damage to peatlands and socio-economic impact.

Developer RES originally considered a layout of up to 25 turbines but scaled back on this following feedback from public exhibitions, centred in particular on visual impact from viewpoints in nearby Fort Augustus.

The Culachy turbines would have a maximum height of up to 149.5 metres to the blade tip, part of what seems to be a growing trend for larger and larger turbines of heights previously unseen in Scotland. The proposal also includes a network of site tracks and hardstandings, permanent and temporary wind monitoring masts, electrical connection works, a control building and substation, and associated temporary construction infrastructure. The Beauly-Denny powerline runs through the development site, which lies to the west of the Stronelairg wind farm site. More detail can be found on the developer's website

In December 2015 the application was rejected by Highland Councillors, citing unacceptable significant adverse impact on the setting of the Scheduled Monument that is the Corrieyairick Pass and on the experience and appreciation of users of the Pass. Highland Council also considered the scheme would be unacceptable in terms of both individual and cumulative visual impact when viewed by recreational users of the Corrieyairick Pass, the Great Glen Way and higher ground to the north of the site.

In March 2016 the developer (RES) lodged an appeal to the Directorate of Planning and Environmental Appeals (DPEA). On 6 April 2016 we lodged a submission to the DPEA - you can read this in the downloads below.

A Public Local Inquiry (PLI) took place 25-28 April 2017. The Trust reiterated its concerns about the proliferation of wind farm development proposals (and associated energy transmission infrastructure) around the wider area to the south of the Great Glen.

In April 2018 the Trust learnt that the appeal had been dismissed by the reporter and planning permission had been refused on the basis that the proposed development would not be consistent with the significant protection accorded by national planning policy to wild land.