Government approves 'Wolf's castle' wind farm

Lochindorb castle The ruined island stronghold of the Wolf of Badenoch

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The Scottish government has granted planning consent to the 17-turbine Tom Nan Clach wind farm on Cawdor Estates land near Tomatin.

Developer Infinergy has offered to fund conservation work to the nearby ruined stronghold of the Wolf of Badenoch from the scheme's profits.

A scheduled ancient monument, Lochindorb was built on a small island on a loch.

The wind farm will generate enough power for more than 18,000 homes.

Finance Secretary John Swinney granted the planning consent.

However, he refused permission for Eurus Energy's proposed 26-turbine Glenkirk Wind Farm near Tomatin.

The Cairngorm National Park opposed the project warning that a "sense of wildness" would be harmed if it was given the go-ahead.

Mr Swinney said he had found that the impact of the Glenkirk scheme on the landscape and the visual aspect would be too high.

He added: "The Tom Nan Clach wind farm will create jobs both in its construction and during its lifetime, as well as having the capacity to supply more than 18,000 homes with renewable electricity.

"Wind farms, like Tom Nan Clach, will help us achieve our 500MW target which could be worth up to £2.4bn to Scottish communities and rural businesses over the lifetime of those projects."

Great Alasdair

Esbjorn Wilmar, managing director of Infinergy, said he was delighted the project had been granted planning permission.

He said the community benefit included about £195,000-a-year in funding being made available to local groups.

The farm will also contribute more than £630,000 per year in business rates.

In October last year, Infinergy offered to fund conservation work to Lochindorb Castle's walls.

From the island stronghold, Alexander Stewart and his forces made a raid across Moray and destroyed Elgin Cathedral in 1390.

Stewart was known as Alasdair Mòr Mac an Rìgh - Great Alasdair Son of the King - in his lifetime. Later, following his death he was given the Wolf of Badenoch nickname.

King James II ordered that Lochindorb be destroyed in 1458.

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