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Windfarm protesters attack developers' montage  

Skye campaigners yesterday condemned a developer’s photo montage of one of Scotland’s most controversial windfarms as a “gross misrepresentation” of its true potential impact on the area.

The colour image, which features in an Amec newsletter to the local community in and around Edinbane, gives the clear impression that the 330ft high turbines would be barely visible.

On seeing the leaflet, John Hodgson, chairman of the Skye Windfarm Action Group, said he could not believe his eyes.

He has lodged an official complaint with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), in which he states: “One requires a magnifying glass to make out the turbines. It is a patently deliberate attempt to downplay the visual impact of the proposed development ahead of a (council) planning hearing scheduled for October 27.”

Mr Hodgson has also alleged that Amec makes “misleading statements” in its newsletter, including a claim that such a development would “add value to local communities for 20 years to come” – something which anti-windfarm campaigners have recently pointed out contradicts the evidence of a number of American communities where windfarms have been built.

There was no mention in Amec’s September newsletter or on its website yesterday of the height of turbines proposed for Edinbane.

After 13 years of argument over a wind plan for the site, the power firm was forced to rethink its proposals because of concerns raised by individuals and organisations, including the RSPB, about the level of risk to eagles and other protected species.

Amec claims to have addressed the issue by redesigning the layout of the project. It has also scaled things down from an initial 27-turbine proposal in 2002 to 18 turbines.

David Hodkinson, managing director of Amec’s wind energy business, said: “This is the only negative feedback we have received about the community newsletter and we will be pleased to assist the ASA should it make an approach to us.

“We shall now be focusing on preparations for the planning hearing for the Edinbane proposal, which continues to benefit from very strong support from the local community.”


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