Campaigners are stepping up the fight against new wind farms on their doorsteps.
Residents in the tiny village of Hareshaw are hoping to prevent up to 24 of the towering wind turbines being built just a few hundred metres away from their homes.
Plans have been submitted for 15 wind turbines on a site east of the village as well as another proposal for a further nine turbines on land between Hareshaw and Salsburgh.
Residents say that, in some cases, the 120m-high masts will be just 500m from houses.
Jim Wilson, of Hareshaw and Salsburgh Action Group, said: “The group just had its third meeting in Salsburgh Village Hall on Sunday and everyone agreed that they did not want these on their doorsteps.
“The way it is going, the whole of North Lanarkshire will be covered in these windfarms, producing more power than North Lanarkshire will need.
“It will be like going back to the days of the old pit bings when Lanarkshire will be used to produce energy for everywhere else.
“Is that what we really want?”
Mr Wilson said that, despite invitations being sent to all local MSPs and councillors to attend the meeting, only Tory MSP Margaret Mitchell turned up.
He added: “We would like our elected representatives, including Jack McConnell, to make it clear where they stand on this issue.
“The people should know so they can make an informed decision when it comes round to the elections next year.”
The residents say that they are worried about the wind turbines having a detrimental visual impact on the local area.
But they also cite concerns over potential long-term health risks as well as the impact on the local wildlife.
Mr Wilson added: “Even the Civil Aviation Authority has expressed concern about the masts and the potential safety consequences for airplanes.
“If there is a potential risk to aircraft thousands of feet up in the sky, what are the risks to the people living next to the wind turbines on the ground?”
The applications for wind farms near Hareshaw are not expected to be considered by North Lanarkshire Council’s Planning Committee until late this year or early next year.
By John Hutcheson
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