We are a broad-based coalition formed to oppose the building of a wind farm at Allt Duine, located in the Monadhliath Mountains on the very edge of Cairngorms National Park in the Scottish Highlands.
The scheme would have a significant impact on both the landscape character and fabric of the Park.
The proposal is for a large onshore wind farm near the town of Kincraig in the Highlands. The plans, as submitted by RWE Npower Renewables Ltd, involve 31 turbines, each at a height of 125m (the equivalent to a stack of 28 double-decker busses) with access directly off the A9. The scheme would be visible from about 100 square miles of the Cairngorms National Park, including iconic high points like the Ptarmigan Restaurant and popular munros within the Park such as Ben Macdui, Cairn Gorm and Braeriach.
The site boundary lies just a few hundred metres from the Park boundary, with permanent access tracks and a cabling route beginning within the Park itself.
The construction of 7.5km of access road will have a significant effect on the landscape fabric of the Park, with the enlargement of existing tracks and brand new roads cut into the mountain side. These tracks will be 5m wide, with greater width (nearer 15m), at the turns as they switchback their way up the steep slopes inside the Park. The site reception and temporary construction compound will also lie within the boundary of the National Park.
We are not
against renewable energy. We simply feel that this proposed development is inappropriate for a wild land area of outstanding natural beauty like Allt Duine.
OUR KEY CONCERNS
Landscape, Wild Land and Natural Heritage
The character and special qualities of this mountain area will be lost.
The wind turbines will be a scar on the landscape, visible from up to 35km away, destroying views from within the Monadhliath Mountains and within the Cairngorms National Park.
Successive wind farm developments in this area are bound to have an adverse cumulative effect.
Recreation and Tourism
There are well-defined walking routes in these mountains. The enjoyment of these will be adversely affected - it is likely that less people will use and enjoy them.
Tourism-related businesses account for about a third of the local economy, including activities such as skiing, walking, fishing, shooting and stalking. It is thought that at least 1.4m people visited the Park in 2007; 1.1m to the Badenoch and Strathspey area.
The CNPA contend that the Allt Duine proposal would affect the amenity of those seeking enjoyment at very sensitive locations including summits of important mountains in the Park as well as views from the key visitor attraction of Cairngorms Mountain.
The proposed wind turbines will be visible from the CairnGorm Mountain Railway and parts of Rothiemurchus Estate, both of which are listed in the top-10 visitor attractions of the Highlands.
Construction will bring a high volume of heavy goods vehicle (HGV) traffic onto the A9 turning into the site entrance directly off the A9.
Wildlife and Habitats
The wind farm and its construction will impact on wildlife, affecting the habitats of many birds and mammals including white-tailed eagles and the Golden Eagle, a European Protected Species.
The Cairngorm National Park is the largest National Park in the British Isles. 39% of the Park area is designated as important for nature heritage; 25% is of European importance. The National Park is home to 25% of the UK's threatened bird, animal and plant species.