MOUNTAINEERS have criticised plans to build a wind farm close to one of the country's most beautiful glens.

The firm WPD wants to erect seven turbines almost 400ft tall on the slopes of Beinn Mhor, just south of Glen Affric.

The company says the project could supply up to 11,500 households with clean energy and the area was chosen specifically because of its proximity to overhead power lines, roads and masts, minimising the impact on the surrounding area.

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But Mountaineering Council of Scotland has lodged an objection with Highland Council, warning that the development would "severely impact on the important and iconic landscape".

The organisation's chief officer, David Gibson, said: "The Affric area is not on a through-route open to passing trade - it is a destination which people choose to go to specifically because of its natural beauty.

"The spread of turbines is making our extraordinary landscapes seem increasingly ordinary. People don't come to the Highlands for ordinary."