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Summer holidays may hold up windfarm public inquiry

ARTISTS’ IMPRESSION:  The  windfarm, complete with 31 turbines, is planned for the edges of the Cairngorm  National Park
ARTISTS’ IMPRESSION: The windfarm, complete with 31 turbines, is planned for the edges of the Cairngorm National Park

A public inquiry into proposals for a windfarm on the edges of the Cairngorms National Park may not be held until October.

The Allt Duine scheme would result in 31 turbines being built on the tops of the Monadliath Mountains, near Kincraig.

The 410ft towers, proposed by developer RWE Npower Renewables, are planned for land on Alvie, Dalraddy and Dunachton Estates.

The turbines would be built just a few hundred yards from the boundary of the Cairngorms National Park.

Earlier this year, Highland councillors voted to oppose the windfarm on the grounds that it could have a detrimental impact on the park.

Scottish ministers will have the final say because of the size of the scheme.

It has now been revealed that the inquiry may not happen until October because several of the groups and individuals wanting to attend the hearings are not available to give evidence until autumn.

Among those expected to take part are the Highland Council, Cairngorms National Park, Kincraig Community Council and campaigners from the Save the Monadhliath Mountains pressure group.

Deadlines for statements may also be delayed because of staff being on leave during the summer. And the reporter, Jill Moody, is likely to want to visit locations around the site to determine the impact of the turbines on views from the park.

The Mountaineering Council of Scotland has proposed a number of potential sites, including the Ptarmigan restaurant at the top of Cairngorm.

A spokesman for the Scottish Government’s Directorate for Planning and Environmental Appeals said: “Based on the replies received so far, it looks as if many of the oral session participants will not be available until October.

“As a result, the inquiry is likely to be delayed to accommodate that. In the meantime, deadlines have been set for the pre-inquiry information exchanges.”

No one from the Save the Monadhliath Mountains group was available for comment last night.

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