Trust welcomes Glenmorie decision

John Muir Trust welcomes decision by Scottish Government to refuse planning consent for 34 turbine Glenmorie wind farm in Highlands.

The John Muir Trust has welcomed the decision by the Scottish Government to refuse planning consent for the 34 turbine Glenmorie wind farm, near Bonar Bridge in the Highlands, on the grounds that it would cause unacceptable landscape and visual impacts, including on wild land.

The Trust had strongly opposed this development on the grounds of adverse impacts on wild land and gave evidence at a Public Local Inquiry into the development last October.

Helen McDade, Head of Policy at the John Muir Trust, said: “We are delighted that this development has been refused. It was a wholly inappropriate site, which would have impacted on an area recently confirmed as a Wild Land Area. This was an unsuitable development that should never have been brought forward in the first place. It would have destroyed an area of wild land, had a damaging effect on peat land and could have had harmful long-term economic consequences for the area.

“Councillors from all political parties came together to object to this giant development. There was also strong opposition from the local community. It would have been a travesty of democracy if this development had been given the green light.

“The refusal today by the Scottish Government sends a strong message to developers that it is inappropriate to target areas now recognised in Scottish planning policy as nationally important for their wild land qualities. And it is a welcome indication that the Scottish Government is delivering on its commitment in the new National Planning Framework 3 to continue its strong protection for our wildest landscapes. This is a victory for those who want to see Scotland’s wild land protected against large-scale industrial development. We are therefore delighted that the Scottish Government has rejected it.”

The development site, comprising turbines up to 125m high, extends into an area recently confirmed as Wild Land Area 29. These new Wild Land Areas are recognised as “areas of significant protection” under new Scottish planning policy. In these areas wind farms may be appropriate, but only if any significant effects on the qualities of these areas can be “substantially overcome by siting, design or other mitigation.”

The development would have been visible from the designated National Scenic Area around the Dornoch Firth, and from the slopes of Ben Wyvis, a popular Munro and Special Landscape Area.

Find out more about our concerns about the Glenmorie wind farm