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Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 May 2006, 10:50 GMT 11:50 UK
First casualty of new wind policy
Wind farm - generic
The wind farm was planned for a site north of Wick
A wind farm proposed for Caithness has become the first scheme to lose out to Highland Council's new guidelines on renewable energy.

Npower Renewables has been refused consent for the 30 megawatt scheme.

The 12-turbine plan for Hill of Stroupster, north of Wick, was the first to go before councillors since the new policy was approved.

It advises against large-scale wind farm developments outside three designated areas.

The proposal attracted 240 letters of objection.

Most of the opposition concerned claims that the 113m (370ft) high turbines would be a blot on the landscape.

Company appeal

Other protests related to the impact on tourism, local bird life and the health of residents.

Members of Caithness area planning committee said the proposal was contrary to Highland Council's newly approved renewable energy guidelines.

It advises against large-scale wind farms beyond the three designated areas in east Sutherland, Easter Ross and the Monadhliath Mountains.

Thurso councillor Roger Saxon said approving Npower's scheme would make a nonsense of the new policy.

Npower's project manager Stewart Forsyth said the company would be considering an appeal.

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