John Muir Trust challenging Stronelairg wind farm decision

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A conservation charity is challenging the Scottish government's decision to give planning consent to a 67-turbine wind farm south east of Fort Augustus.

Energy Minister Fergus Ewing granted permission for SSE Renewables' project at Stronelairg in July.

The John Muir Trust has lodged a petition to the Court of Session asking for a judicial review of his decision.

It is claimed the wind farm could generate enough electricity to power 114,000 homes.

The operators also said it would bring £30m-worth of benefits to the region.

However, the John Muir Trust said the development would "destroy the character" of an area of wild land in the Monadhliath Mountains.

Chairman John Hutchison said: ''Over the past year, the Scottish government has made ground-breaking progress by adopting the new wild land areas map of Scotland, and, for the first time, recognising wild land as an important national asset.

"However, we believe the decision by the energy minister to give the go-ahead to Stronelairg without a public local inquiry is not consistent with Scottish government measures to protect the best areas of wild land from industrialisation."

In April, the John Muir Trust challenged Highland Council's decision to raise no objection to the wind farm.

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