The turbines will be visible across Rannoch Moor from A82

The turbines will be visible across Rannoch Moor from the A82

Mountaineers in Scotland are calling on a Government minister to back opposition to a proposed windfarm in his constituency.

The planned Talladh-a-Bheithe windfarm would be visible across Rannoch Moor to travellers heading for Glencoe, and Rannoch MSP John Swinney is being urged to join those opposing the development in his constituency.

The Mountaineering Council of Scotland said the 24 turbines, each 125m high, would also be visible from Schiehallion, the Ben Alder massif, the mountains above Glen Lyon and Loch Tay and some above the Drumochter Pass. It could also be seen from the West Highland Railway, from the main A82 road on the far side of Rannoch Moor and Buachaille Etive Mòr beyond.

Murdo Fraser, Tory MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, is looking for cross-party support for the MCofS, the John Muir Trust, and the local community, in calling for the rejection of the planning application.

Five other MSPs have already given their backing to his motion and the MCofS said it hopes others will follow. It is making a special appeal to the Scottish National Party’s Finance Secretary and former SNP leader John Swinney, whose constituency covers Rannoch, to show clear opposition to proposals which are it says are strongly opposed by the local community and businesses.

Brian Linington, MCofS president, said: “The Scottish Government recently pledged greater protection for our dwindling wild lands from vast commercial windfarms. This application is the first real test of their promise.

Scottish Finance Secretary John Swinney, in whose constituency the windfarm is planned. Photo: Scottish Government/Crown Copyright

Scottish Finance Secretary John Swinney, in whose constituency the windfarm is planned. Photo: Scottish Government/Crown Copyright

“It is vital that John Swinney, as a senior government figure and as the area’s MSP, steps forward and makes a very clear statement that he opposes this damaging scheme. He needs to show that he is determined to protect the interests of his own constituents and their livelihoods and to defend the policies of his own government.

“Opposition to the application has wide political support at a local level and we hope to see MSPs of every party working together in defence of Scotland’s most beautiful landscapes.

“Every member of the public who cares about Scotland’s wild lands and mountains can help by simply dropping an email to their MSP and urging them to back Mr Fraser’s parliamentary motion.”

Murdo Fraser said: “The Scottish Government must use the application at Talladh-a-Bheithe as an opportunity to send out a clear message to other developers that wild land is not for windfarms.

“In June I cautioned that despite the Government’s new planning guidelines, wind developments will still be possible on wild land.

“The Scottish Government must toughen their stance to ensure that our precious wilderness is kept beautiful. If they fail to do so, their planning guidelines published in June will amount to little more than hollow words.

“It is absolutely critical that areas of natural beauty are protected and rural residents must have a say on wind farms that are planned for their doorstep.”

The windfarm is planned on moorland between Loch Rannoch and Loch Ericht.

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