Trust welcomes council objection to Caplich wind farm

Highland Council officers object to Caplich Wind Farm which is partially in Wild Land Area 34 in north west Sutherland

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The John Muir Trust has warmly welcomed the decision to oppose the application, taken yesterday (8 February) under delegated powers by council planning officials, after consultation with local councillors. The proposed wind farm - which would involve the erection of 20 turbines up to 132 metres high and the construction of an extensive network of access roads - is now in the hands of the Scottish Government.

The Scottish Government last year rejected two similar applications in the same Wild Land Area, at Glencassley and Sallachy. Ministers could either reject the proposal outright or hold a Public Local Inquiry.
John Low, Policy Officer with the John Muir Trust praised the decision and said: “In 2015 the Trust launched a campaign to protect Wild Land Area 34 from the threat posed by three wind farm proposals – Glencassley, Sallachy and Caplich.

“In November we were heartened by the Scottish Government decision to refuse consent for Glencassley and Sallachy. This latest decision by the council means we are another step closer to ensuring that wild land is protected for future generations.

“Highland councillors and planners are to be congratulated for making the correct call by objecting to Caplich. The decision is in line with the Scottish Government’s National Planning Framework 3, which states: ‘We also want to continue our strong protection for our wildest landscapes – wild land is a nationally important asset.’

“The objection is in line with a string of decisions last year to refuse applications for large-scale wind farms at Limekilns, Allt Duine, Carn Gorm, Glencassley and Sallachy.

“We are heartened that wild land is now is receiving the protection it deserves from local and national government – and  hopeful that this commitment will be further reinforced when Highland councillors consider the Gordonbush Extension next Tuesday*.

“We have long argued that instead of covering Scotland’s wild land with turbines, pylons, power lines and access tracks, these areas could be transformed into living landscapes of trees and wildlife, with people and local communities benefitting from nature-based jobs and year-round tourism.”

*Page updated 16 June 2016

Caplich - according to the DPEA website the case is "now ready for allocation to Reporter."

Gordonbush Extension: At the North Planning Applications Committee meeting of Highland Council on Tuesday 16 February, Councillors supported their Planning Officer’s recommendation not to object to the extension subject to the developer's agreement to remove one turbine and reduce the height of another. As an objector to this proposed development, which is right on the boundary of Wild Land Area 35, we are naturally disappointed in the committee's decision. The final decision now rests with Scottish Government Ministers.