Balmoral Estate green scheme gets go-ahead

Balmoral Estate is set to improve its green credentials as a new hydro-electric scheme is approved on the River Muick.

The planning application for a 2MW run of river hydroelectric scheme and associated infrastructure near Birkhall, Ballater, was given the go-ahead by members of the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) Planning Committee.

Speaking at the meeting, planning officer Emma Wilson outlined how the scheme could impact the landscape and ecology.

She proposed an approval for the project with conditions attached to ensure a high quality scheme and guarantee effective mitigation measures.

The site for the hydroscheme lies 7km south-west of Ballater on the west bank of the River Muick.

The planning application sought permission for an intake structure, buried pipeline, a powerhouse and access tracks.

Planning Committee convener Eleanor Mackintosh commented: ‘The Cairngorms National Park Authority is very supportive of renewable energy projects of a scale and character that is compatible with the National Park, particularly biomass and hydro projects.’

To read the Planning Committee papers in full go to