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Public inquiries to be held into wind-farm plans

PLANS for two major wind farms are to be examined by public inquiries following objections from the Highland Council.

The Mountaineering Council of Scotland (MCofS) had called on councillors to make a stand against the 34-turbine Glenmorie wind farm on the Kildermorie and Glencalvie estates to the west of the villages of Ardgay and Bonar Bridge.

It is being developed by Wind Energy, a majority-owned sub-sidiary of AES Corporation.

Scottish & Southern Energy (SSE) is behind a 27-turbine Dalnessie wind farm, seven miles north of Lairg, which was also objected to by Highland Council.

Due to their size, ministers will make the final decision on both. Because Highland Council's north planning committee opposed the first unanimously and the second on the casting vote of the chairwoman, there will be public inquiries.

There was no support for Glenmorie whose turbines would be 410 feet high on land from nearly 1400 ft above sea level.

Cromarty Firth SNP councillor Maxine Smith said: "If approved, it would be like wind factories in the area."

However, Steve Hunter, project director for Glenmorie Wind Farm, said: "Over the past three years we have worked hard to address any concerns raised with us."

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