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Decision time for Glen Etive hydro

Friday 15th March 2019, 10:48am

The Highland Council is meeting on Wednesday to review an earlier decision to consent three controversial hydropower schemes in the wild land of the Glen Etive mountains.

Seven individual schemes were proposed for the iconic glen, all by the same developer. Mountaineering Scotland and others have expressed strong concerns over three of them, which were sited up the side glens to the east of the River Etive. This area is wild in character and very popular for outdoor recreation, whether walking, climbing, kayaking or even just to look at from the roadside.

All seven schemes were approved by the council’s planning committee last month, but a late intervention by a concerned Councillor on the three schemes in the open hillside led to the calling of a special meeting of The Highland Council to review the decision to approve the three contentious schemes.

Mountaineering Scotland is appealing to councillors to protect the mountains of Glen Etive in the national interest. There are places where hydro schemes can fit into the landscape with minimal impact, and then there are places where major construction work just shouldn’t be; the glens leading up into the Etive Mountains are such places

Stuart Younie, CEO of Mountaineering Scotland, said: “At the heart of what Mountaineering Scotland was set up to do almost 50 years ago was to act as a voice for mountaineers, hillwalkers and climbers across Scotland on issues like Glen Etive. Our landscape is a national asset and we believe that it should be treated with care and respect so that future generations have the opportunity to enjoy it. We encourage the Highland Council to help protect the wild nature of the glen and reverse the decision to approve these three hydro schemes.”

A note explaining the significance of the place has been sent to all Highland Councillors and can be read here.

Photo by Richard Cross.