Energy Minister Fergus Ewing has refused planning consent for the 34-turbine Glenmorie wind farm near Bonar Bridge in the Highlands.
The Energy Minister 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.
The Highland Council objected to Glenmorie Wind Farm LLP’s application stating it would impact the landscape and scenery of the area.
Ewing said: “Scotland has enormous potential for renewable energy that is delivering jobs and investment across Scotland, and I am determined to ensure communities all over Scotland reap the benefits from renewable energy. We need a balanced approach in taking forward this policy and have to consider what impact any development would have on the local area.
“That is why I have refused permission for the proposed wind farm at Glenmorie, which would have had an unacceptable landscape and visual impact, including on the wild land, in the Highland Council area.
“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.”
At the same time an application to build a 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 Local Inquiry.
The Scottish Borders Council had previously rejected consent for the Cloich Forest wind farm on the grounds that it would unacceptably harm the landscape.
Glenmorie Wind Farm LLP Project Manager Lizzie Foot said:
“Glenmorie could have contributed to Scotland’s ambitious 100% renewable electricity target and saved up to 112,000 tonnes of CO2 per year, whilst providing a significant number of jobs for Highland firms. We are very disappointed that this opportunity won’t be realised.”
Glenmorie Wind Farm was expected to support 100 jobs and generate contracts worth £46 million to the Scottish economy.
In 2011 Wind Energy (Glenmorie) Limited applied for consent to construct and operate Glenmorie Wind Farm, made up of 43 turbines but was reduced to 34 turbines following extensive consultation. After an objection from The Highland Council a Public Local Inquiry followed in October 2013.
Wind Energy Developments, including Glenmorie Wind Farm, is majority owned by wind-farm giant AES.
Pictured is Fergus Ewing MSP, Energy Minister