Highlands & Islands

Hydro power 'threat' to Skyfall's Glen Etive

Glen Etive Image copyright Tim Parkin/onlandscape.co.uk
Image caption Concerns have been raised about the impact the renewable energy projects would have on Glen Etive

Small-scale hydro power schemes threaten to spoil a Highlands glen, according Mountaineering Scotland.

Seven projects have been proposed for Glen Etive, according to the body that represents the interests of outdoor pursuits enthusiasts.

It has urged planning authority Highland Council to protect the area, well-known to film fans as a location for 2012's James Bond movie Skyfall.

The council has been asked to "defend this much-loved landscape."

The local authority said every planning application for hydro schemes was assessed on its merits, taking into account relevant development plan and national policy.

Glen Etive, near Glen Coe, is a National Scenic Area, and a Wild Land Area.

Image copyright Danjaq LLC/United Artists/Columbia Pictures
Image caption Daniel Craig as James Bond in 2012's 007 movie Skyfall

Mountaineering Scotland said constructing the hydro power schemes on the rivers and burns in the glen would involve road and bridge building, use of cement and the laying of power cables.

Chief executive Stuart Younie said urged Highland Council to look at "whole picture of development" in the glen rather than treating each application in isolation.

He said: "We are challenging Highland Council on its stewardship of Glen Etive and call for the planning department to defend this much-loved landscape.

"Wild land is fragile and requires understanding of what can damage its qualities for generations to come, and it needs a commitment to protect those qualities."

A spokeswoman for Highland Council said: "Every planning application for hydro schemes is assessed on its merits, taking into account relevant development plan and national policy, including those relating to landscape impact.

"The views expressed by consultees and third parties are also important and will form an important part of the assessment."

Scenes for Skyfall, which starred Daniel Craig as secret agent 007, were filmed in Glen Etive and the wider Glen Coe area.

The film's production crew were said to have been "absolutely blown away" by the landscape and red deer stags that appeared during the shoot.

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