Talladh-a-Bheithe wind farm objection

The Scottish Wild Land Group (SWLG) is Scotland's oldest wild land charity and campaigns for the protection of Scotland's wild land. SWLG considers the proposed development to be an exceptionally serious threat to wild land because it impacts on an area unique in its remoteness and character.

We object to the development on the grounds of loss of visual amenity and impacts on wildlife. We consider the proposal is contrary to National Planning Framework 3 which states that proposals should safeguard the character of areas of wild land as identified on the 2014 SNH map of wild land areas.

The area affected by this development is unique. The area around Loch Ericht and Ben Alder is regarded as among the remotest in Scotland. In discussions about which area is furthest from a metalled road, this area is frequently mentioned. It is therefore deliberately sought out by walkers and paddlers seeking to escape from an industrialised environment.

We are also concerned about the effect of turbines on raptors and bats, and the effect of the foundations on peatlands.

The large scale of this development and the 125 metre height of the turbines, combined with the local topography, means that the visual impact is severe, widespread and impossible to mitigate in any meaningful sense. The area affected is wild land as identified by the SNH map, and should therefore be subject to additional protection as outlined in National Planning Framework 3. This additional protection has been welcomed by SWLG and other environmental groups and it appears to us that this application represents the first test of the new guidance.

In light of the fact that this area is classed as wild land on the SNH map, and the promised protection under NPF 3, we hope and expect Scottish Ministers will refuse this proposal.