Ben Wyvis seen across the Cromarty Firth, with Dingwall in the mid-distance. Photo: Leo Wildi CC-BY-SA-2.0

Ben Wyvis seen across the Cromarty Firth, with Dingwall in the mid-distance. Photo: Leo Wildi CC-BY-SA-2.0

Mountaineers have lodged an objection to plans for a windfarm near a munro in Easter Ross.

The Mountaineering Council of Scotland said the development near Dingwall would be an unacceptable escalation of windfarm development in the area.

ABO Wind UK has applied for consent to erect five wind turbines, three of 125m blade-tip height and two of 110m blade-tip height, at Woodlands Farm, Dingwall, near Ben Wyvis.

The MCofS said that, while of limited impact on views from the summit plateau of Ben Wyvis, the turbines would have a significant impact on views to the munro which, uniquely on the east coast, rises straight from the sea to over 900m.

The council’s chief officer David Gibson said: “Placing large vertical structures with moving blades between the very strong horizontal line of the coast and the undulating form of the ridges on the Ben Wyvis massif would introduce an intrusive and thoroughly discordant visual element into the landscape.

“That impact is completely unacceptable.

“We have also taken into account the fact that there is already an operational turbine at Dingwall with three more approved in the same area as the Woodlands proposal and another at Culbin Farm which is at the scoping stage.

“This application is an acceleration of that process of development, increasing the number of turbines applied for and increasing their size.

“If approved, this is something that other developers would undoubtedly seek to exploit, given that there are no clear plans in place for the eventual number of wind farms or turbines to be permitted here, or anywhere else in Scotland.

“The MCofS is generally supportive of the Government’s commitment to increase the production of energy from renewable resources, including onshore wind, and we have objected to relatively few proposals.

“However, we have major concerns at the increasing demands that proposals for wind farms are making on Scotland’s highland landscapes.”

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