Campaigners are going one step further in their battle against wind farms.
Angry Hareshaw residents are dipping into their own pockets to try and stop turbines being erected almost on their doorsteps.
Up to 28 turbines could be erected a few hundred metres from their homes in Hareshaw.
Plans have been submitted for 10 turbines at a site south and south west of Salsburgh. An application for 15 turbines at a site at Hartwood has also been proposed, along with plans for three turbines in Hareshaw.
Jim Wilson, of Hareshaw and Salsburgh Action Group, said: “From our last meeting, what we have decided to do is employ a planning consultant to object to the Hartwood wind turbines.
“We have paid for them from money raised at the meetings. It is all donations from residents.
“These consultants will produce a professional planning objection. It will help our case as they know the planning laws, which are complicated.
“We already have a planning consultant for the Salsburgh wind turbines and we have also raised enough money for a separate planning consultant to object to Hartwood. We are now waiting to appoint one for Fernieshaw.
“We are having to do this to protect our interests against our own local authority.”
The campaigners have enlisted the support of politicians including councillors Jim Robertson and David Fagan who have opposed the building of the wind turbines.
Dykehead Councillor Jim Robertson said: “I have objected to the Hartwood, Salsburgh and the Fernieshaw proposals. My objection is the visual impact. I don’t think they have realised how close the villages are to them. David Fagan and myself have attended meetings at the action group previously and are on board.”
David Fagan, local councillor for Salsburgh, added: “I objected to the initial application and objected on the basis that it is too close to the village and the effects would be detrimental.
“I am not against wind farms, but my main concern in particular is that this one is too close to the village of Salsburgh.”
Mr Wilson added: “We are pretty concerned that the whole area would be surrounded. One of the concerns is that they will be producing electricity for North Lanarkshire and the South of England. Lanarkshire has done its bit for the pits.
“It was an area that was never designated for wind turbines and will affect the long term future and the quality of life for people here.
“When I built my home in Hareshaw we were told we could not build over a certain height, but now the big companies come along and do what they like. It doesn’t make sense.
“Everyone in Salsburgh and Hareshaw is dead against it. At every meeting we ask anyone to raise their hand if they are in favour of them. But it is unanimous. No-one wants them and there are around 80 people at these meetings.”
Shirley Linton, development control manager at North Lanarkshire Council, said: “The council have granted one application for a wind farm and have details of a further six proposed wind farms across North Lanarkshire.
“An application for ten turbines at a site to the south and south west of Salsburgh and an application is being considered and an initial proposal has been put forward for three turbines in Fernieshaw/Hareshaw.
“Initial proposals, but no planning applications to date, have also been put forward for sites at Bracco/Black Hill near Caldercruix (seven turbines), Greengairs Landfill Site (nine turbines), Organon Laboratories at Airdrie (one turbine) and Fernieshaw/Hareshaw (three turbines).”
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