Trust delighted by decision to reject Limekiln wind farm

Rejection of 24-turbine Limekiln wind farm in the Flow Country in Caithness hailed as a victory for wild land

Img 0010 wind turbines peat bog lr detail

The John Muir Trust today welcomed the decision by Scotland’s Energy Minister Fergus Ewing to reject an application for a major wind farm adjacent to the East Halladale Flows Wild Land Area in Caithness.

The development would have led to the erection of 24 turbines up to 456 feet high, as well as foundations, roads, tracks, transmission lines and other infrastructure in an area renowned for its unique landscape and ecosystem.

But following a Public Local Inquiry, the scheme has been rejected because of its potential impact on the Wild Land Areas map, which was developed by Scottish Natural Heritage and underpinned by Scottish Government national planning documents in June 2014.

The development, proposed by Dorset-based energy company, Infinergy, was opposed by the John Muir Trust and by Highland Council. It also attracted 400 letters of opposition, mainly from the local community.  

Helen McDade, Head of Policy for the John Muir Trust said: “As someone who grew up in Caithness, I am delighted for the local community which campaigned strongly to prevent the unique character of this landscape.

“But this is also a landmark decision of national significance. The refusal explicitly states that ‘significant weight should be attached to the policies protecting wild land’.

“Coming on top of last week’s decision to reject the Bhein Mhor wind farm application near Glen Affric, it sends a clear message to developers that Scotland’s wild land is a valued national asset which merits strong protection.

“The Scottish Government now has an opportunity to dispel all remaining doubts over the future of Scotland’s wild land by swiftly rejecting the three remaining applications for large-scale wind farms on wild land, at Glencassley and Sallachy in Sutherland, and Allt Duine in the Monadhliath Mountains.”