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They ken noo about the Braes of Doune


Your letters August 31 2006

Not for the first time in recent days a correspondent writing to the Scottish press (in the case of The Herald Doug Maughan on August 29) condemns the visual intrusion of the Braes of Doune wind farm. When this wind farm was first mooted there were only four objections and Stirling Council supported the plan when it went before the Scottish Executive for approval.

Scottish Natural Heritage, after minor adjustments to the original plan, “accepts that the wind farm will inevitably be prominent, particularly from north-east viewpoints, but, overall, a wind farm of this scale at this location presents a simple, sculptural landmark image”.

In referring to views from the west, the executive found that “Ministers are of a view that the wind farm is only a minor element in this landscape setting”.

In other parts of Scotland plans for such wind farms have been met with a deluge of objections and it can only be assumed that those who live in the Stirling area had no idea previously just what visual obscenities wind farms are. Well, they ken noo.

David Govan, 5 Pobs Drive, Corpach, Fort William.

THREE cheers for Doug Maughan! His backyard is not my backyard. Even so, his arguments about wind turbines blighting his historic locality, one of great scenic beauty, deserve widespread support and have validity from the Northern Isles to Galloway.

Although Mr Maughan’s point about location is well taken, it does not go far enough. The central principle of renewable energy generation has been lost: produce as close as possible to the locality of consumption. Wind farms and large wind-turbine generation plant producing for export are a wasteful nonsense. What can be more stupid than generating energy in Lewis for Lewes 800 miles away in Sussex?

In the 1930s a group of Cambridge communists, many upper middle-class scions of the British establishment, infiltrated the security and intelligence services. Burgess, Maclean, Philby and Blunt operated in the Soviet interest against which they were supposedly defending the country. Something similar has happened to what used to be known as the environmental movement. People who began, and still pose, as champions of the environment against big business now despoil the Scottish countryside largely in its interests.

There is, however, a difference: the activities of the Cambridge spy ring were never subsidised by government or parliament. The Scottish Executive and the Scottish Parliament are doing just that in a shameful bid to buy off a “green lobby” whose leaders have totally lost the plot. They have been captured by the enemy as surely as were Burgess et al in the 1930s.

Thomas McLaughlin, 4 Munro Road, Glasgow.