Written by David Mackay
Moray Council will try to block the construction of more turbines in a
remote area, amid fears it could become a “wind farm landscape”.
Force 9 Energy wants to construct up to 48 turbines, ranging between 425ft
and 575ft, about seven miles south of Forres.
The Clash Gour development would almost completely encircle the existing
Berry Burn site – but with turbines around 75% larger than the current ones.
The controversial plans have already attracted objections from Visit
Scotland – which has fears about their impact on tourism, from Sepa due to
concerns about forestry, and Inverness Airport about possible effects on
radar, while they have been the catalyst for 180 further letters from
members of the public.
Developers Force 9 believe its proposal “strikes the balance” between
minimising environmental effects and maximising economic benefits for Moray
– which would support 390 full-time jobs during construction followed by up
to 19 permanent posts.
However, Moray Council is poised to object to the plans, citing the
“unacceptable” damage they would cause to the landscape by creating a wave
of interconnected wind farms between Hill of Glaschyle, Berry Burn and
Paul’s Hill which would be almost impossible to tell apart.
In a report, principal planning officer Neal MacPherson said:
“Fundamentally, the north-west side of Moray would increasingly become a
‘wind farm landscape’, which would detract from the experience and
enjoyment of the countryside that would be the appeal to many visitors and
those using the countryside for recreation.
“The dominance of wind energy developments has reached a critical stage
where their dominance would detract from the natural landscape in which
they are set.”
Due to the size of the development, the plans have been submitted to the
Scottish Government, with Moray Council’s views being considered as part of
The authority’s planning committee will meet tomorrow to finalise the
response with an objection expected to lead to a public inquiry.
Yesterday, Force 9’s head of planning and development, Andrew Smith, urged
the council to back the plans due to the potential financial benefits of
the site, which could power at least 145,000 homes and add millions to the
He said: “If consented and built, we estimate that the value added to the
Moray economy would be £26.7 million and up to £91.4 million to the