The John Muir Trust has today written to Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing asking him to reject three ‘huge’ Highlands wind farms in official Scottish Government Wild Land Areas – including one on land owned by an Egyptian grocer who formerly owned the Harrods department store.
Glencassley and Sallachy wind farms would both be sited on the west side of Loch Shin, within Wild Land Area 34.The two developments in Sutherland would involve 45 turbines, each three times the height of the Skye Bridge, along with over 30km of new access tracks, and other infrastructure.
The Glencassley estate is currently owned by an offshore company registered in St Helier, Jersey. The application for the development has been submitted by SSE.
The proposed Sallacy development straddles the Sallachy estate, which is owned by a German registered company, and the Duchally estate, which is owned by London-based Mohammed Al Fayed, an Egyptian grocer who once owned Harrods department store. The developer, WKN, is based in Germany.
A third development, Allt Duine, would consist of a further 31 turbines, all located within Wild Area 20, which covers the Monadhliath Mountains.
Scottish Natural Heritage – the Scottish Government’s own advisory body – has objected to Glencassley and Sallachy. For reasons of protocol, it left its sister body, the Cairngorms National Park Authority, to lodge an objection to Allt Duine
Peter Pearson, Chairman of the John Muir Trust, pointed out that the Scottish Government has already rejected Glenmorie wind farm in Easter Ross on the grounds that it would ‘have a detrimental impact’ on wild land, and states:
“This refusal sent a strong message to developers that it is inappropriate to bring forward large-scale wind developments in areas now recognised in Scottish Planning Policy as nationally important for their wild land qualities.”
The letter goes on to ask the Energy Minister “to make the same decision and refuse consent for the Allt Duine, Glencassley and Sallachy wind farms, all of which impact significantly on Scotland’s flagship Wild Land Areas.”