Turbine development could blight Rob Roy Way

Responding to a public consultation which closed this week, the John Muir Trust has lodged an objection to the proposed Crossburns Wind Farm in Highland Perthshire, pointing out that the scheme would disfigure one of Scotland’s Great Trails.

West Coast energy has submitted a planning application for 25 turbines, each 115 metres high, to be built across the Ardtalnaig to Aberfeldy leg of the walk. The turbines will also be on the route of the Scottish National Trail.

If approved, this section of the Rob Roy Way, considered one of the highlights of the entire walk, will be re-routed during the estimated 18-month construction period.

Once built, the turbines would be visible for 20km of the 151km walk. The most affected would be those sections between Glen Quaich and Urlar, and between Aberfeldy and Dunfallandy Hill.

Part of the windfarm site

Part of the windfarm site

Steeped in history, the Rob Roy Way celebrates the life of famed Jacobite and outlaw Rob Roy Macgregor who used the route to evade his pursuers between 1713 and 1725. The trail passes though Balquhidder where Rob Roy is buried.

Helen McDade, Head of Policy for the John Muir Trust said “Rob Roy would be turning in his grave at the thought that the landscape he roamed and loved is now seen as ripe for exploitation by energy companies and landowners.

“Scotland’s Great Trails are supposed to offer an escape from the modern world rather than a stroll through industrial parkland.

“Highland Perthshire is already making a major contribution to renewable energy targets through hydro schemes and wind farms. But we are concerned that we are now reaching tipping point.

“These industrial developments are being driven by renewable energy subsidies with no regard for local communities, or our precious landscapes upon which much of the local tourism-based economy depends.”

With two major wind farms already spread across the Highland Perthshire landscape (Griffin and Calliachar), there are already 82 installed turbines visible from Schiehallion, which is owned and managed by the John Muir Trust.

If Crossburns and three other applications in the pipeline were to be approved the number of turbines in the part of Highland Perthshire would rise to 136.

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