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Park Authority objects to windfarm plans

19th October 2009

The planning committee of the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) has objected to
proposals for a windfarm on the Cawdor Estate on the grounds that, should a neighbouring
wind farm get the go ahead from the Scottish Government, the impact of so many turbines
would be detrimental to the landscape, tourism and wildlife in the area.

The plan for the windfarm at Tom nan Clach by Infinergy is for only 17 towers and – in isolation – would
be unlikely to attract an objection from the Park Authority. However, serious reservations have been
expressed because of a planned 31-turbine development at Glenkirk, to the south of Tom nan Clach.
Plans for this windfarm – which the CNPA objected to in 2006 – are currently with the Scottish Government’s
Energy Consents Unit.

Speaking at the planning committee meeting last week (Friday 16 October) in Ballater, planning officer
Andrew Tait said: “Our objection is on the grounds of cumulative impacts. Should Glenkirk be given
approval by the Scottish Government and then Tom nan Clach permitted by Highland Council, this
would lead to a major adverse visual impact on the Park and subsequently impair the enjoyment of
residents and visitors.

“Furthermore, these two proposals together would have an unacceptable impact on the first aim of the
Park, to conserve and enhance the natural and cultural heritage of the area, with serious implications for
a variety of raptors.”

Planning Committee member, Richard Stroud commented: “It is very difficult to make a decision
based on cumulative impact when decisions on other applications have still to be taken. However when
you consider the cumulative impact of this alongside Glenkirk, it is huge and it will also have a
detrimental effect, not only on birds of prey, but a variety of ground nesting birds.”

The CNPA will submit its formal objection to the Tom nan Clach windfarm to Highland Council this
week, as well as the Scottish Government’s Energy Consents Unit.