The decision was made by the Scottish Executive following the applicant company’s failure to ease concerns over the scheme’s potential impacts. Highland Light and Power will now have to shelve its plans to build the 3.55MW Shieldaig / Slattadale power plant, which would have called for the construction of four weirs, new turbine houses, the transferral of water through a buried pipeline and modifications to nearby water courses and lochs.

During the consultation stage, the project was bombarded by 848 objections, while only six members of the public said they supported the plan.

The proposed site was in the Shieldaig and Flowerdale Forests – close to the Wester Ross National Scenic Area, recognised for its variety of landscapes; the river Kerry site of special scientific interest; and candidate special area of conservation, which is home to populations of freshwater pearl mussels, salmon and sea trout.

The Scottish Executive rules on new hydro power applications in excess of 1MW.