ENERGY giant SSE said it is "particularly" disappointed environmentalists are mounting a legal challenge to its plans for a giant wind farm in the Highlands.

The company said the development would provide up to £30 million of community funds for 25 years on the site in the hills to the east of Loch Ness.

But the John Muir Trust (JMT) has lodged a petition in the Court of Session asking for a judicial review of the decision in June by Energy Minister Fergus Ewing to grant consent to the 67-turbine Stronelairg wind farm in the Monadhliath Mountains without a public inquiry. It was opposed by the government's advisory body on nature and landscape, Scottish Natural Heritage, and by the Cairngorms National Park Authority.

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But a spokeswoman for SSE said: "This petition for judicial review is particularly disappointing given the extent of the local support for the project and its location around existing hydroelectric infrastructure. We will now respond to this legal challenge through the appropriate process," she said.