Moun­tain group ob­jects to weather mast

The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands) - - LOCAL NEWS -

A planning ap­pli­ca­tion to erect a 262-ft high me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal mast on a Suther­land hill has met with an ob­jec­tion from Moun­taineer­ing Scot­land.

The ap­pli­ca­tion, from Ed­in­burgh-based WKN Sal­lachy Ltd, seeks per­mis­sion for the mast on Cnoc a’ Bhaid Bhain Hill, in the hills north-west of Sal­lachy, near Lairg.

How­ever, the ap­pli­ca­tion fol­lows pre­vi­ously granted tem­po­rary planning per­mis­sion for a mast on the same site, which was erected to col­lect data for the pro­posed Sal­lachy wind­farm, for which Scot­tish min­is­ters re­jected the planning ap­pli­ca­tion two years ago.

David Gib­son, CEO of Moun­taineer­ing Scot­land, said: “The orig­i­nal ap­pli­ca­tion for a mast on this site was made and granted on a tem­po­rary ba­sis for five years. An ob­vi­ous ques­tion is, af­ter five years of data col­lec­tion, and the re­fusal of the orig­i­nal planning ap­pli­ca­tion for a wind farm on this site, why is an­other mast and fur­ther data col­lec­tion considered nec­es­sary, and how long will this mast be there?”

He added: “We might spec­u­late that the new planning ap­pli­ca­tion may sim­ply be to en­able the ap­pli­cant to avoid the costs of re­moval of the mast, which will re­main a threat to the nat­u­ral her­itage as iden­ti­fied by SNH in re­spect of the orig­i­nal ap­pli­ca­tion.”

In its ob­jec­tion, Moun­taineer­ing Scot­land has asked High­land Coun­cil refuse the ap­pli­ca­tion and in­voke the orig­i­nal con­di­tion that “the ap­pli­ca­tion site shall be cleared of all de­vel­op­ment ap­proved un­der the terms of this per­mis­sion . . . and re­in­stated in ac­cor­dance with a scheme ap­proved in writ­ing by the planning au­thor­ity.”

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