Mid-Scotland and Fife MSP Murdo Fraser has called for cross-party support to defeat a proposed wind farm on land included within Scottish Natural Heritage’s “Wild Land Map”.
In June the SNP confirmed that 19 per cent of the country, identified as national parks or national scenic areas, will be out of bounds to wind farm developers.
The first test of this legislation is set to come in the form of the planned development at Talladh-a-Bheithe. The area is just 2km north of the Loch Rannoch and Glen Lyon National Scenic Area and if constructed the turbines will be visible from over 30 Munros including the popular Schiehallion mountain. Both the Mountaineering Council of Scotland and the John Muir Trust have opposed the planning application.
Murdo has submitted a motion in the Scottish Parliament, which pending support, is intended for debate in the chamber.
Commenting Murdo Fraser MSP said;
“The Scottish Government must use this application to send out a clear message to other developers that wild land is not for wind farms.
“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.”
David Gibson, Chief Officer, Mountaineering Council of Scotland;
“The determination of this application by Ministers is a test case. Clearly it will test the effectiveness of the new planning policy but it will also be a test of Scottish Government’s resolution and stated intent to protect Scotland’s rapidly diminishing wild land.
“On behalf of our members and others who cherish and enjoy wild land we call on their elected representatives to engage in the debate and support the motion.”
Notes to Editors
Motion enclosed below
Title: ♦ Objections to Talladh-a-Bheithe Wind Farm and NPF3
That the Parliament notes objections to the planned Talladh-a-Bheithe wind farm on Rannoch Moor from the Mountaineering Council of Scotland and the John Muir Trust; considers that, if granted, the Talladh-a-Bheithe project will be visually detrimental to an area of outstanding natural beauty and one that is included in Scottish Natural Heritage’s wild land map; believes that the 24 turbines planned for two kilometres north of the Loch Rannoch and Glen Lyon National Scenic Area will be visible from 30 Munros and Corbetts, including the popular Schiehallion mountain; understands that this case presents the Scottish Government with its first real test following the announcement of the Third National Planning Framework (NPF3), in which 19% of Scotland was identified as national parks and national scenic areas and therefore out of bounds to developers, and notes calls for the Scottish Government to reaffirm its commitment to preserving Scotland’s precious natural heritage.