THE SCOTTISH Government has pulled the plug on two major wind farm developments - the proposed Beinn Mhor wind farm on the edge of Glen Affric, and a major development adjacent to the East Halladale Flows wild land area in Caithness.

The proposal for Glen Affric, by German developers WPD, would have led to the construction of six turbines, each 400 foot high, on the edge of one of Scotland's most famous landscapes.

The project was opposed by the John Muir Trust, the Mountaineering Council of Scotland, two local community councils and over 1000 members of the public.

The full text of the report explaining the decision, issued by the Scottish Government's directorate for planning and environmental appeals, makes 28 separate references to wild land and concludes that: "The safeguarding of wild land is a significant national objective."

Helen McDade, head of policy for the John Muir Trust said: "We warmly welcome this decision, which is a victory not just for those local communities who have campaigned strongly against the proposal, but also those of us who believe Scotland's wild land is a precious national asset worthy of protection."

The trust also welcomed the decision by Scotland's energy minister Fergus Ewing to reject the East Halladale proposal.

The development, proposed by Dorset-based energy company Infinergy, would have led to the erection of 24 turbines up to 456 feet high, as well as foundation roads, tracks, transmission lines and other infrastructure in area renowned for its landscape.

Opposed by the John Muir Trust and by Highland Council, it also attracted 400 letters of opposition, mainly from local residents, including crofters.