First time in four years an application for an onshore wind farm has been rejected by ministers
The Scottish Government has rejected a planning application for a 30-turbine onshore wind farm development in Caithness.
It is the first time in four years an application for an onshore wind farm has been rejected by ministers.
Highland Council had rejected the planning application from Spittal Hill Wind Farm Ltd – which proposed up to 30 turbines, most of which would have been 110 metres high – and a public enquiry was launched.
The proposal received 1,546 letters of objection and 1,268 letters of support.
Energy Minister Fergus Ewing refused to grant planning permission for the proposed development at Spittal Hill, Caithness, saying that the impact on the landscape and nearby homes would be too great.
He said: “Scotland has enormous potential for renewable energy that is delivering jobs and investment across Scotland, and I am determined to ensure communities all over Scotland reap the benefit from renewable energy – but not at any cost.
“And we will ensure a balanced approach in taking forward this policy, as we have in the past and will in future.
“The Scottish Government wants to see the right developments in the right places, and Scottish planning policy is clear that the design and location of any wind farm should reflect the scale and character of the landscape and should be considered environmentally acceptable.
“The impact of this proposed wind farm on the landscape, and the impact it would have on the homes of those who live closest to it, is too great.”