The first single wind turbine in Easter Ross was yesterday narrowly given the go-ahead by Highland councillors despite attracting more than 70 objections from neighbouring residents.
Applicant Kenneth Mackenzie has applied to erect the 200ft 330KW turbine on land south-east of Cullisse Farmhouse at Nigg.
The proposal has attracted 71 letters of objection from neighbouring residents as well as objections from Nigg and Shandwick Community Council and Kilmuir and Logie Easter Community Council.
They raised concerns about the size and visibility of the turbine as well as its effect on the amenity of the area, the impact on wildlife and the airfield at Fearn, near Tain.
Members of the Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross planning application committee deferred the application when they met last month to allow them to scrutinise high-quality photographs of the proposal’s visual impact.
Yesterday, at the meeting at Tain, planning members were shown mock photographs of what the wind turbine would look like from a number of sites around Nigg and Fearn.
Local councillor Richard Durham raised concerns that the single wind turbine went above the sky line.
He said: “I would much rather see a wind turbine that was 100ft or 150ft. This is the first wind turbine in Easter Ross and I am worried it will set a standard for others in the future. I am concerned about the visual impact on residents nearby.”
Councillor Fiona Robertson, who also represents Tain and Easter Ross, asked members to refuse the application. She added: “My main concern is with the adverse impact on the visual and residential amenity.”
But a number of members disagreed the development would have a detrimental impact on the local area and residents.
The proposal was given the go-ahead by four votes to three.