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Profits for a few, and a blight for everybody

Martin Laing (November 6) makes a very valid point when he decries the siting of a wind farm as a background to Stirling Castle but he is not alone in being a nimby. The same situation is replicated all over Scotland. The wind farm on Ochils was approved by the executive in the face of unanimous opposition from local people and the refusal by the local planning authority to grant permission. Planning permission for the proposed wind farm in Ayrshire’s Doon Valley was refused but the developer is coming back with a revised proposal for slightly fewer turbines which will not change the fact that the proposal is totally unacceptable to the local people. There is a proposal for a wind farm near Culzean Castle to which the National Trust for Scotland, along with the local population, has objected.

There are scores of these applications in the pipeline which will, no doubt, be rejected by local people and possibly refused planning permission by local authorities only for permission to be granted by the Scottish Executive in a misguided attempt to be seen to be “green”.

The Beauly-to-Denny super grid line is designed to facilitate further wholesale desecration of our landscape and for what? We do not need the generating capacity these monsters provide and any lifetime saving in carbon emissions is likely to be at best marginal and at worst zero. The only beneficiaries are the electricity companies and the developers. They get the (subsidised) profit and the rest of us get industrial blight in our countryside. What sort of bargain is that? Could it be that the nimbys have got it right?

Andrew Mitchell, 4 Glenpark Avenue, Prestwick.

Martin Laing’s conclusion that nothing can be done to reverse the blight on the landscape caused by the wind turbines on the Braes of Doune is regrettably true but I would hope that lessons can be learned from this.
The planning consent for this project is four or five years in the past and, amazingly, no-one locally, not even the esteemed editor of our Stirling newspaper, has a clue as to how this monstrosity slipped in under the radar when the initial application was presented. Much as I dislike all the brouhaha that attaches itself to an “inquiry”, other communities could certainly benefit from knowing how planning by stealth works.

As Mr Laing correctly points out, the giant electricity pylons which threaten to tower astride the adjacent Ochil Hills have been the subject of widespread local protest and one can only hope that when the evidence is being taken, the mistake made on the Braes of Doune will at least have served the purpose of preserving the rest of that beautiful panorama from Stirling Castle.

Andrew Trombala, Halcyen, Alexander Drive, Bridge of Allan.

MARTIN Laing is quite right to call Doune wind farm a blot on the landscape. It can be seen for miles around the Braes of Doune and distresses me every time I see it, which is often. He asks why there was no protest against this outrageous development. Could it be that he and people like myself just did not notice the planning application? Or that having done so did not appreciate the enormity of the intrusion? A further insult to our landscape sensibilities is the fact that some local societies and even councils have been offered lump sums of money by Airtricity Developments, presumably in the hope that this will compensate local people for blighting what was, as Laing says, a nationally celebrated panorama.

Doune wind farm is a disgrace.

Kathleen M Battye, Ach-na-Coile, Ancaster Road, Callander.