A CONTROVERSIAL plan for a six-turbine wind farm on the edge of a world-famous landscape has been refused by a Scottish Government reporter after an appeal by the developers.
The German firm behind the plan, the wpd group, had appealed to Ministers following repeated delays by the Highland Council in considering their application for the project at Glen Affric.
The development was opposed by the wild land charity the John Muir Trust, the Mountaineering Council of Scotland, two local community councils and over 1,000 members of the public.
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The turbines would have been almost 400ft to blade tip, twice the height of Edinburgh's Scott Monument. The acclaimed glen lies in the middle of the large tract of land between Loch Ness in the east and Loch Duich on the west coast.
In refusing consent the reporter made 28 separate references to wild land and concluded that the safeguarding of such land was a "significant national objective".
Helen McDade, head of policy for the John Muir Trust, said it was a victory not just for those local communities who had campaigned strongly against the proposal, but also those who believed wild land was a precious national asset worthy of protection.
The developers wpd said they found "the extent to which the Reporter has veered from expert advice of the Scottish Government's own statutory consultees and of Highland Council professional officers in reaching this decision remarkable".
"Instead, the Reporter frequently states in his report that he shares the concerns of objectors in regard to the possible impacts on the landscape and local road system," the firm added.
"This has resulted in an enormous loss to local supporters, charities, and national renewable energy and community ownership targets."