One of Scotland’s leading conservation charities has lodged an objection to a 22-turbine wind development in Sutherland.
German renewable energy company WKN AG has applied to build 22 3MW turbines on the Sallachy and Duchally estates at Lairg.
The devices will be 410ft high. It is claimed that the development will produce enough electricity to power 34,000 homes. But the John Muir Trust has now come out against the plans due to the impact on wild land.
The trust estimates the turbines will be visible from up to 10% of the Assynt and Coigach National Scenic Area (NSA), including from the Munros, Conival and Ben More Assynt .
Trust chairman John Hutchison said: “This is a worrying proposal. Assynt and Coigach is an area of great beauty and spectacular landscapes that includes the summits of Quinag, Ben Mor Coigach and Suilven.
“Folk are becoming very concerned about the effect of this type of development on our wild landscape, the unique Scotland that visitors come to see. We can’t afford to lose high-quality areas of wild land such as this, particularly when there are impacts on an established National Scenic Area. We’ve been concerned that as less sensitive available space is used up, Scotland’s wildest land will come under increased threat. The Sallachy proposal is a step closer to this happening.”
Steven Turnbull, policy officer for the trust said: “The developer in this case has recognised the wildness of the site but has significantly undervalued this quality. If Sallachy is approved it would set an unwelcome precedent for future developments.
It would make it even more difficult in the future to challenge windfarms that impact on National Scenic Areas, the highest accolade for Scotland’s natural landscapes.”