A leading Scottish environmental charity and the Mountaineering Council of Scotland has called on Scottish Ministers to uphold their own planning policy and reject the application for an RWE Innogy wind turbine parc in the central Cairngorms.
If approved, the proposed Allt Duine wind parc in the Monadhliath Mountains and adjacent to the Cairngorms National Park would result in the construction of more than 30 turbines, each more than 125-yards tall.
The John Muir Trust and the Mountaineering Council object to the proposal because it would be situated within Area 20 of the Scottish Natural Heritage map of Wild Land Areas, which has been adopted as planning policy rules by Scottish Ministers.
Helen McDade, from the Trust, said: “This is the first major test from the Scottish Government’s much-trumpeted Wild Land policy.
“The Allt Duine wind parc has been the subject of fierce debate for several years and a decision is well over-due.
“As well as designated Wild Land, Allt Duine is an area of great natural beauty, a habitat for protected species, including the golden eagle, and an important landscape for hill walkers, mountaineers and outdoor enthusiasts.”
“For it to go ahead would directly contradict the spirit of the Wild Land policy and represent a dismal failure by the Scottish Government to act in accordance with democratic principals”.
The government’s own statutory consultees – Scottish Natural Heritage, the Cairngorms National Park Authority, Highlands Council and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency – are all opposed to the RWE Innogy proposal.