Scots sink 114MW AES wind plan

Scottish energy minister Fergus Ewing

Scottish energy minister Fergus Ewing

Consent for the AES-backed 114MW Glenmorie wind farm in Scotland has been refused, upholding objections from the Highland Council that it would damage landscape and scenery in the area.

Located near Bonar Bridge in the Highlands, the 34-turbine plant was first rejected in 2013, prompting the appeal to the Edinburgh government.

Scottish energy minister Fergus Ewing has agreed with the findings of the Public Local Inquiry Reporter that the wind farm would cause "unacceptable landscape and visual impacts, including on wild land", he said.

"The Scottish Government wants to see the right developments in the right places, and Scottish Planning Policy is clear that the design and location of any wind farm should reflect the scale and character of the landscape and should be considered environmentally acceptable," said Ewing.

The UK subsidiary of US power group AES first applied to build a 43-turbine project in 2011, before later cutting the plan to 34 machines.

A statement from the developer said it was "very disappointed" at the decision.

Separately, an application to build an 18-turbine wind farm in the Scottish Borders has been referred by Mr Ewing to the Scottish Government's Directorate of Planning and Environmental Appeals (DPEA) for a public inquiry.

The Scottish Borders Council had rejected consent for the Cloich Forest wind farm, developed by Partnership for Renewables, on the grounds that it would unacceptably harm the landscape.

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