Cairngorms National Park

Uath Lochans from Farleitter Crag, Kingussie

Park Authority approves hydro scheme at Blair Atholl

23rd July 2012

The planning committee of the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) has given the go ahead for the installation of a hydro scheme and associated developments in Highland Perthshire, near the House of Bruar.

Meeting at Boat of Garten this morning (Friday 20 July), members unanimously approved the scheme at Bruar Water, north of Pitagowan. Works associated with the 1.5MW hydro scheme comprise the enlargement of an existing dam, a river diversion, a buried pipeline, a powerhouse some new tracks and bridges and a grid connection at Struan.

Planning Officer Andrew Tait said: “The CNPA is generally supportive of renewable energy schemes in the Park that do not have a negative impact on the Park’s aims. Indeed, this application makes a positive contribution towards the second aim which is to promote sustainable use of the Park’s natural resources and will also result in renewable energy being provided direct to the national grid, contributing to the Scottish Government’s targets for renewable energy.

“We recognise that there will be some impacts on the natural heritage but with method statements, mitigation proposals and conditions we can ensure that any impacts are kept to an absolute minimum.”

CNPA Planning Convener Duncan Bryden added:  “We welcome this application. It will not detract from the special qualities of the Park and shows that the National Park Authority is serious about appropriate renewable energy projects in the right locations.”

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) was initially opposed to the proposals raising concerns about the impacts on water dependent habitats in the area. However additional work by the applicants, Bruar Hydro Ltd, in providing more information concerning habitat issues resulted in SEPA withdrawing their objections.

To read this planning paper in full go to: http://cairngorms.co.uk/resource/docs/boardpapers/20072012/CNPA.Paper.5154.Planning%20Committee.Paper.8.-.Bruar.pdf