The Scottish Government refused consent earlier this week for two separate wind farms intended for the county of Sutherland.
Scotland’s Energy Minister, Fergus Ewing, made the announcement earlier this week, explaining that consent for a 22 turbine wind farm located at Sallachy and Dullachy estate in central Sutherland, as well as a 23 turbine wind farm intended for Glencassley Estate, had been refused consent.
“The Scottish Government’s policy on wind farms strikes a careful balance between maximising Scotland’s huge green energy potential and protecting some of our most scenic landscape and wild land area,” said Ewing.
Specifically, the two wind farms were said to have “an unacceptable impact” on the nearby wild land areas, and that such impact would not be outweighed by any wider policy benefit.
“We have been clear that wind farms can only be built in the right places and Scottish Planning Policy sets out rigorous steps to ensure wind farms are sited appropriately and sensitively,” Mr Ewing continued. “I have considered these applications fully and recognise the efforts made by the applicants to mitigate the potential impacts of the Developments. However I have refused permission as the proposals would still have significant and unacceptable landscape and visual impacts in the local areas and these are not outweighed by any wider policy benefit.”
The announcement is mildly surprising, given Scotland’s relatively historic wind records and deployment over the past few years. However, the news comes not long after it was revealed that Scotland is on track to miss its 100% renewable energy target if further investment is not made in onshore and offshore wind.
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