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Landscape Matters

Wind Farms and The Highland Council: We write to the Press

Wednesday 13th February 2013

The Mountaineering Council of Scotland, The Old Granary, West Mill Street, Perth PH1 5QP

13 February 2013

Dear Editor,

It is a pleasure to be able to write in praise of politicians and our democratic process. It is tremendous news that Highland Council has rejected the dreadful wind farm applications for Dalnessie and Glenmorie and Clach Liath. All would have a severe impact on some of Scotland’s most beautiful mountain landscapes. In the case of Clach Liath, on the slopes of Ben Wyvis, the application was so blatantly unsuitable it was kicked out before even reaching the planning committee.

With Dalnessie and Glenmorie we believe that special praise is due to the SNP councillors who refused to bow to Alex Salmond’s seeming willingness to allow power companies to industrialise our landscapes by building vast wind farms in highly inappropriate settings. Like these councillors we are not opposed to renewables – we simply recognise that our wild lands and open spaces are fundamental to Scotland’s character and identity.

However, the council vote is far from the end of the issue. The companies behind these proposals may well fight tooth and nail to have the decisions overturned – after all, immense profits are at stake. We very much hope that people will work together to stop them winning.

Most important of all, we hope that the Scottish Government will show respect for the views expressed by its own councillors, and will work positively with organisations like ours, to develop a proper national renewables spatial planning policy. This would be a simple and practical way to determine what projects could go ahead in which places – protecting our landscapes while allowing ample clean energy generation.

Yours sincerely,

David Gibson, Chief Officer