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Energy firm lodges appeal after Camster II Wind Farm planning refusal

By Alan Hendry

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Some of the turbines at the existing Camster Wind Farm. Picture: Alan Hendry
Some of the turbines at the existing Camster Wind Farm. Picture: Alan Hendry

A renewable energy firm has lodged an appeal after being refused planning permission for a new wind farm at Camster.

RWE Renewables wants to install up to 11 turbines in its proposed Camster II Wind Farm development on land some 2000 metres north-west of Tannach Hill.

Its application was turned down in January by Highland Council, which ruled that the wind farm “would have a significantly detrimental visual impact”.

The company has said that it remains convinced that the Camster II site is a suitable location for a wind farm, adding that it would deliver benefits to the local area.

RWE Renewables' appeal was received on March 11 by the Scottish Government's Planning and Environmental Appeals Division, which handles planning appeals on behalf of Scottish ministers.

The 11 turbines would have a maximum tip height of 126.5 metres and would be capable of producing up to 38MW of electricity.

A spokesman for RWE Renewables said: “We were disappointed by the decision to refuse our application.

"We have worked hard to find a suitable design with the council’s experts throughout the planning process but unfortunately have been unable to reach an mutually agreeable position.

"We remain committed to our belief that the land at Camster II is a suitable location for a wind farm and to delivering the community and business benefits which a project like this can bring to the local area.”

The original Camster Wind Farm, situated nearby and consisting of 25 turbines with a tip height of up to 120m, was commissioned in 2012 and has an output of 50MW.

In its decision notice, the local authority said the development “would introduce a large-scale wind farm within close proximity to the existing Camster/Wathegar/Wathegar 2 and Achairn developments, filling in an area currently left open, creating a substantial array of turbines and changing the nature of this existing rural landscape to one which is characterised by wind farm development”.

It said this cumulative view “would be experienced in close proximity and on a daily basis by residents who live in and around the rural communities of Watten and rural areas including Newton Row, Tannach and Badlibster where the cumulative impact of wind energy development would significantly impact on the established level of amenity and the rural setting”.

The application attracted four public comments – three objections and one in support.

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