MOUNTAINEERS have insisted that a new wind farm planned close to one of Scotland's national parks would ruin views for visitors and residents.

The Mountaineering Council of Scotland said it was maintaining its opposition to the Nathro Hill wind farm proposed near Brechin, Angus, despite the Ministry of Defence and RSPB Scotland withdrawing their objections following assurances.

A total of 17 turbines would be erected under plans submitted by Edinburgh-based company Eurowind.

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The Mountaineering Council says the proposed 143-metre (469ft) turbines would have a significant adverse visual impact on the landscape setting of the Cairngorms National Park and the Deeside Area Of Landscape Significance.

David Gibson, the council's chief officer, said: "Turbines of the size proposed, with a string-like layout following a high ridge, would significantly detrimentally impact upon the sense of space that is intrinsic to residents', mountaineers' and other visitors' experience of the eastern Grampian plateaux and summits."

He said the sense of space enjoyed from Munros (mountains over 3000ft) such as Lochnagar, Dreish and Mount Keen, and the closer Corbett (between 2500ft and 3000ft) of Ben Tirran would be diminished by the "vertical punctuation" of the turbines.

Ian Lindsay, director of Eurowind, said: "The wind farm will have minimal impact on iconic hill walking areas in the Angus glens and beyond. We are keen to meet the MCoS to address its concerns."