Plans to expand a Highland Perthshire hydroelectric station have been pulled after a series of objections over the impact on migrating salmon.
Local firm RDA Architects submitted plans for the SSE power station between Pitlochry and Killiecrankie last November.
The architects described the scheme as “sympathetic” but it drew criticism from Tay District Salmon Fisheries Board, who told Perth and Kinross Council officers it “posed significant risks” for young salmon migrating out of the River Tummel and adult fish returning.
In the organisation’s objection to the council, Dr David Summers said smolts (juvenile salmon) and near fully grown salmon were known to pass Clunie for up to eight months a year, and questioned the viability of the power station only running for the other four.
Dr Summers said the body was also concerned that the existing generation flow from the hydro plant is already much faster than the flow of the river, causing a threat to migrating fish.
He said: “In a project of this type we would have expected to see a full environment impact assessment, particularly given this is in a Special Area of Conservation for salmon, but this was apparently not considered necessary.”
Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) also had concerns about the proposals for the plant, located on the southern shore of the River Tummel.
The organisation called for more information on the potential impact of the expansion and the effects it would have on “internationally important natural heritage interests”.
SNH operations manager Gavin Clark said: “In our view, this proposal is likely to have a significant effect on the Atlantic salmon, qualifying interest of the site.
“We consider that there is the potential for juvenile salmon to be harmed during their downstream migration and for adult salmon to be attracted to the tailrace flows, thus potentially delaying or inhibiting their upstream migration.”
SSE withdrew the application this week and said it did not intend to come back with amended designs.
A spokesperson for the power giant said: “Following discussions with the local council and statutory consultees, SSE has taken the decision to withdraw the application relating to the construction of a hydro compensation set at Clunie Power Station.
“At this stage there are no plans to submit a revised application.”