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Campaigners oppose plan for wind farm with 47 turbines

ANTI-WIND farm campaigners are calling on councillors to demand a site visit so they can see the potential impact of a proposed development of 47 turbines on the Highlands.

They warn of the cumulative effect of wind farms that have already been approved or are in the pipeline.

Highland Council's planning officials are recommending do not object to SSE's Strathy South farm in Sutherland when the north area planning committee meets today, on condition it is reduced by eight turbines.

The local community council backs the proposal although Scottish Natural Heritage and the RSPB have warned the farm would have a detrimental impact on birdlife.

Local campaigners Stuart Young and Lyndsey Ward are calling on the committee members to demand a site visit "to see the enormity of this proposal and judge for yourselves the damage already done to the tourist experience of the magnificent north coast route".

They claim that members were denied a site visit to see the impact the 33-turbine Strathy North Windfarm would have on the A836 tourist route above Strathnaver, saying if such a visit had occurred, it was possible that Strathy North would not have been allowed, but now it is under construction.

Two other turbines have already been constructed at Bettyhill. In addition the 28-turbine Strathy Wood wind farm would also soon be up for consideration.

Meanwhile leaders of the Save the Monadhliath Mountains Campaign (SMM) say last week's approval by the Scottish Government of SSE's 67-turbine Stronelairg wind farm in the hills above Fort Augustus, poses "a serious threat" to Scottish conservation interests and democratic planning process. The group says it was approved in the face of legitimate and widespread opposition from a wide range of stakeholders.

SMM spokesman Chris Townsend said allowing the the application had set a dangerous precedent and posed a danger to wildlife habitats and areas of outstanding natural beauty.

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