NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Glenfiddich owner loses Dorenell wind farm objection

Helicopter and electricity towers Image copyright SSE / Balfour Beatty
Image caption Electricity towers were recently installed for the wind farm project

The owners of Glenfiddich distillery have failed in a legal bid to halt the construction of a wind farm in Moray.

William Grant and Sons objected to the Dorenell wind farm on the grounds it would spoil the local countryside and reduce visitor numbers.

The case against the 59-turbine development, near Dufftown, was taken to the Court of Session.

Lawyers also argued that it had taken too long for work to start after consent was granted.

Lord Woolman was told that when Scottish government ministers gave the go-ahead to the scheme in August 2011 the operators of the wind farm were given five years to begin work.

It was argued that the operators had not started working on the site within that time period.

Upgrading roads

The court heard that contractors had started work on upgrading roads close to the wind farm site in August 2016.

The drinks company's legal team argued that Moray Council - the organisation responsible for overseeing the legal enforcement of the planning agreement - were wrong to allow the project to continue.

However, the judge ruled that Moray Council had acted correctly.

In a written judgement, Lord Woolman explained: "I hold that Dorenell did validly commence the development in August 2016."

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) and Balfour Beatty started using an air crane helicopter to install electricity towers for the wind farm project last month.

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