Wind Turbines

Turbines at Garve, Wester Ross

Planning officers have recommended that councillors do not object to an extension to a wind farm to be built in Wester Ross.

Developers Erica Wind Farm Ltd and Infinergy have consent for 22 turbines at Lochluichart Estate, near Garve.

The original plan was for 43, but the scheme was reduced in size following concerns about impact on wild land.

Highland Council has now been consulted by the Scottish government on an application to add six turbines.

The local authority’s north planning applications committee will consider a recommendation that it make no objection to the bid when it meets on Wednesday.

Councillors will also be asked to grant planning permission for three turbines at Rumster Forest, near Lybster, in Caithness.

Latheron, Lybster and Clyth Community Development Company has proposed the community wind farm.

Trump and Mackie tell National Trust for Scotland their view on turbines

US tycoon Donald Trump and Scots farmer Maitland Mackie have set out opposing views on wind turbines in the National Trust for Scotland’s magazine.

Mr Trump is strongly against plans for an offshore development near his £1bn golf resort in Aberdeenshire.

Wind Turbines
Wind Turbines

Writing in Scotland in Trust, he said wind farms threatened tourism.

Dr Mackie has written in support of the renewable energy and said people will become as used to them as they were to electricity towers and telephone poles.

He also said it was wrong to suggest that turbines killed wildlife, adding that traffic and cats were a greater risk and caused the deaths of “hundreds of thousands” of birds.

The businessmen have set out their views on wind turbines as part of a wider piece on Scotland’s landscape in the new edition of the trust’s magazine.

Its publication comes just days after the Scottish government rejected plans for an onshore wind farm for the first time in four years.

Spittal Hill Wind Farm Ltd’s proposal to construct up to 30 turbines in Caithness received 1,546 letters of objection and 1,268 letters of support.

Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said if it had gone ahead it would have had a negative impact on nearby properties and views of the landscape.

In the NTS magazine article, entitled The land we love, Aberdeenshire dairy farmer Dr Mackie said his family business had five years of experience in harnessing wind power.

He said his parents complained about increasing numbers of electricity pylons, but later got them into perspective and people would do the same with turbines.

Dr Mackie wrote: “We are at the beginning of the end of the fossil fuel era.

“Dramatically rising energy costs will only stabilise when there is enough renewable energy coming on stream.”

Giving views against turbines, Mr Trump said Scottish tourism relied heavily on the landscape.

He said: “Does anyone honestly believe that a wind farm landscape will stimulate tourism? It will completely end tourism in Scotland.”

Mr Trump said Scotland was “committing financial suicide”.

Donald Trump
Donald Trump

The Mountaineering Council of Scotland (MCofS) has also launched a manifesto which calls for the country’s highest hills and mountains to be protected from wind developments.

The MCofS has called for greater protection of Corbetts, 220 hills of 2,500ft (762m) to 3,000ft (914.4m), and 283 Munros, mountains of more than 3,000ft.

It believes Scotland can achieve its aims for renewable energy without “industrialising our most important mountains”.

The council wants an immediate moratorium on commercial wind farms which it said would encroach on the country’s highest hills and mountains