By Jane Candlish

Angry campaigners claim a new map of windfarm developments in the north
does not show the “true threat” of the march of the turbines.

Highland Council has produced a graphic detailing every turbine being dealt
with by its planners.

The map shows almost 90 separate developments, affecting every part of the

Caithness remains one of the areas with the biggest proliferation of masts,
and an increasing number of windfarms are planned across Sutherland and to
the south of Loch Ness.

And the number of major projects being tabled this year is up significantly
on the total for 2012 – from 10 to 38. But angry anti-turbine protesters
claimed they know about more windfarms in the pipeline and expect more
applications within months.

They criticised the Scottish Government’s green energy policy, which aims
to meet 100% of the country’s electricity needs from renewables by 2020.

One development missing from the map is the Allt Carach scheme planned by
German firm ABO Wind.

The proposals, revealed earlier this year, involve building 25 turbines at
Kilmorack, near Beauly.

Lyndsey Ward, an campaigner from nearby Kiltarlity, said: “While the map is
useful it does not give an indication of the true threat of wind
development within the Highlands at all. It does not show where developers
are targeting communities.

“Where they are doing surveys before putting in a mast application, the
communities become aware of such activity and yet are denied access to
information. “Any spare hill or piece of land is fair game for the
developers – and the openseason wind policy of this SNP government
continues unabated.”

Pat Wells, convener of Stop Highland Windfarms, said: “The Highland
Council’s windfarm activity map presents a depressing picture of systematic
desecration of the world-renowned Highland landscape – desecration
shamefully presided over and encouraged by the SNP at Holyrood.

“The so-called Year of Natural Scotland in 2013 was a disgraceful
smokescreen attempt by the Scottish Government to mask its duplicitous
involvement in the windfarm scam.” And Stuart Young, of Caithness Windfarm
Information Forum, said he was not surprised at the extent of proposed
developments, but felt like “crying” over the picture in his region.

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said last night: “Our planning policy
strikes a balance between making the most of Scotland’s huge green energy
potential and the need to protect the country’s most scenic wild spaces,
meaning that windfarms are only permitted to go ahead in the right places.

“Current planning and consents processes are rigorous and ensure
appropriate siting of windfarms.”

SAS Volunteer

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