We are campaigning to protect Scotlandís mountains and wild land from insensitive developments, whether its industrial-scale wind farms, poorly designed structures or unsightly bulldozed tracks. Read on for an update on whatís happened so far, what happens next and how you can help further.
We get approached every week by government agencies, local authorities, national parks and developers to comment on proposed wind farms designed to generate more than 50MW. Our decision to respond or object is guided by specific criteria, reflecting our vision, Respecting Scotland's Mountains. We only object to a very small proportion, but if permitted, they could have a huge impact on the wildness of some cherished locations.
We have written to Heads of Planning in the ten local authorities and Scottish national parks urging them to use their powers to ensure the impact of hydro scheme scars on upland areas is mitigated by developers. The responses we received were positive but it is clear that some lack capacity to monitor and follow up these issues.
We have quantified the impact wind farms located in mountain landscapes have on hill-walking behaviour for the first time. In a survey of our members, over two thirds stated that they prefer not to see wind farms when in the mountains and 22% said that they avoided areas with wind farms when planning their activities.
We have lent our support to the Save Bennachie Alliance which is working to protect one of the north-east's most iconic hills from several proposed route options for the dualling of the A96 near Inverurie.
The planning system is open to YOU and it needs to hear your voice if you are concerned about a particular development.
Advice given to Mountaineering Scotland by planning officers is that weight of numbers can influence the acceptance, conditions attached or refusal of a planning application. Politicians and policy are also influenced by public opinion.