A MASSIVE Highland wind farm proposal which could make the Scottish Conservatives' environment spokesman more than £8 million has been criticised by the environment watchdog.

Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) has warned that the huge Ardchonnel wind farm in Argyll would have "significant adverse impacts" on local villages and the skyline, spoiling the countryside "for residents and visitors". It says the development is "out of scale" with the surrounding landscape.

The Ardchonnel scheme, which is being developed by German energy firm RWE Innogy, is on a 3500-acre estate owned by Tory MSP Sir Jamie McGrigor.

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The scheme would see 15 turbines 111m (364ft) tall erected above Loch Awe.

Although SNH has not formally objected to Ardchonnel, its official advice is scathing. In a submission to Argyll and Bute Council, which is handling the planning application, SNH says the proposal "will have significant adverse visual impacts".

Argyll and Bute Council is due to consider the application before the end of May.