A different kind of battle will soon be joined on the subject of wind farms with the opening of a series of public inquiries on the proposed Beauly to Denny line of giant pylons.
It has come to my knowledge that about 17,500 letters of objection have been lodged against the proposal. I have also been informed that in order for an objector to address a hearing a precis of evidence in the form of four copies of precognition has to be lodged; if the objector wishes to suggest that the power lines should be put underground, then that objector has to undertake and submit in written form what amounts to a survey of the route, presumably with costings, to the inquiry.
Such requirement is all very well for experts in that field, but for the ordinary person who feels that the line would be better underground, it is impossible to observe.
Presumably a certain proportion of the 17,500 or so objectors are experts in many different fields and will be able to put cogently argued cases. However, the majority of the objectors will be ordinary folk like myself, with no particular expertise apart from a deep gut feeling that it is wrong ““ not just inadvisable, but wrong ““ to desecrate and irrevocably destroy splendid, majestic landscape in the way in which this monstrous proposal does. Such objectors, like myself, will have no chance of addressing the hearing. Our views will never be articulated to those making the final judgment.
Is it right that more than 17,000 voices should be ignored? Will the inspector in charge of the proceedings take the views of this multitude into account at all? Or will the whole fate of this great swath of incomparable Scottish landscape be decided by those with most to gain from it financially ““ development firms, faceless businesses and landlords, who may never even have to look upon the deplorable result if the Beauly to Denny line is allowed to proceed? I think that the voice of all those silent protesters should be heard and their presence felt.
Kathleen M Battye, Ach-na-Coile, Ancaster Road, Callander.
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