Copied and pasted from an email I received today:
‘ALLT DUINE – A WIND FARM TOO FAR’
Campaigners welcome the Committee’s decision to organise a visit to the Allt Duine site and vow to campaign to secure an objection from Highland Council
Supporters of the Save the Monadhliath Mountains (SMM) campaign plan to continue their fight despite today’s (Tuesday 20 December) decision by the Highland Council’s Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey Planning Application Committee (Committee) to defer the application to carry out a site visit.
The SMM campaigners welcomed the pause, although they stressed that this would not distract them from their goal of achieving an objection by the Highland Council (Council) to the s.36 application for a proposed large onshore wind farm at Allt Duine, located on the very edge of the Cairngorms National Park, near the village of Kincraig.
The SMM campaigners believe that to build a wind farm on the very edge of the National Park, in an area of unspoilt wild land, and in an area that the Council wishes to protect, would be devastating and a step too far.
Outdoor author, photographer and former President of the Mountaineering Council of Scotland, Chris Townsend, is a spokesman for the SMM campaign. Chris, who lives in the Cairngorms National Park, is also a writer and photographer for TGO (The Great Outdoors) Magazine and has written many books and guides about the area, including A Year in the Life of the Cairngorms and the Cicerone guide Scotland.
Commenting on today’s Highland Council deferral and site visit, Chris Townsend, said:
“The decision by the Highland Council area planning committee to pause and carry out a site visit is welcome. We hope on seeing the wild landscape of the Monadhliath Mountains and the proposal’s impact on the setting of the Cairngorms National Park, the councillors will be left with no other choice than to object.
“It is crucial that the officers arrange a visit in collaboration with National Park Authority to ensure councillors see and hear the devastating detail of this proposal in its own right and also in conjunction with the neighbouring wind factories close by.
“Allt Duine is one of 11 wind farms being developed near the National Park and we believe there is a line in the sand and this is it – this proposal is a step too far. 31 turbines, the majority of which are a massive 410 feet in height, are completely inappropriate for a wild area of outstanding natural beauty. The construction and operation of the turbines will have an irrevocable impact on the landscape, wildlife and ornithology of the area.
“The only way to guarantee a thorough assessment is for the application to be heard at a full Public Inquiry.”
Today’s Committee meeting agenda contained reports on two wind farms, Carbon Free Moy Limited 11/01205/FUL (“Moy scheme”) and Allt Duine s.36, with two very different outcomes – Moy to object and Allt Duine not to object. The Officer recommendation rode roughshod over the Council’s brand new draft wind farm spatial guidance (April 2011 HRES2) which has a clear policy of steering development away from the Allt Duine (and Moy) areas. It wrongly prejudged the outcome of the HRES 2 consultation process and failed to support the Cairngorms National Park Authority’s robust objection to the Allt Duine proposal.
SMM campaigners, who staged a peaceful demonstration outside the Highland Council headquarters in Inverness today, plan to carry on their fight, backed by their over 1260 supporters, to ensure the wild landscape around Allt Duine and the western edge of the Cairngorms National Park is protected from the devastating effects of the wind farm development.
Formal objections have been lodged with the Scottish Government by the CNPA, the John Muir Trust, the Mountaineering Council of Scotland, Scottish Campaign for National Parks and key local estates.
The overarching objective of the SMM campaign is to ensure the wild landscape of the Monadhliath Mountains and the setting of the Cairngorms National Park is protected.
The Allt Duine wind farm is one of 11 developments (proposed or currently under construction) on the edge of the National Park. Campaigners are increasingly concerned about the cumulative effect of wind power stations on the unspoilt landscape of Scotland’s largest national park – a point echoed by the Cairngorms National Park Authority – and have been urging supporters to ‘Save the Monadhliath Mountains’ over the last few months.
Renowned mountaineer, writer and broadcaster, Cameron McNeish; Chief Executive of the John Muir Trust, Stuart Brooks; and David Gibson, Chief Officer of The Mountaineering Council of Scotland are backing the campaign, along with support from organisations such as Scottish Campaign for National Parks, Walk Highlands and Scotland-Landscapes.
Notes to editor:
Membership to Save the Monadhliath Mountains is free. To keep up-to-date on the campaign, follow us on twitter or visit our website: