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Anti-windfarm protesters lobby delegates

Banner-wielding anti-windfarm protesters lobbied MSPs and delegates outside the Scottish Labour Party conference on Saturday.

The protest, which was organised by the Views of Scotland group, was a call for action over what the group claims is the country’s “excessive reliance” on wind power.

Marilyn Henderson, of Kilchrenan, near Oban, who was one of the protesters, said: “MSPs have been really nice, they went out of their way to see us and a lot of them whispered to me – we are on your side.”

David Bruce, chairman of Views of Scotland, which was formed last year to fight windfarms being built in inappropriate areas, said: “Scotland’s misguided renewable energy policy, with its excessive reliance on wind power, is threatening many areas of the country, with environmental, economic and scenic slaughter.”

He said the group had been assured by Labour Party politicians two years ago that wind energy would be just one part of the mix in Scotland’s 40% renewables target.

Mr Bruce added: “The reality is that, leaving aside all other renewable technologies, there are sufficient wind-power proposals in the planning system to meet the whole target twice over. While lip service is paid to these other renewable technologies, the wind power bandwagon tumbles on, out of control.”

Mr Bruce claimed that Scotland has no renewables strategy, other than planning guidelines that presumed in favour of consent for windfarm applications.

The group claims that the number and size of wind sites poses a serious threat to the rural tourism on which many areas of Scotland depend.

Also demonstrating, outside the Corran Halls conference centre, were representatives of environmental pressure group Friends of the Earth Scotland, protesting against the use of nuclear power.

A group of pensioners from Ayr also hoisted a protest banner outside the conference centre, to highlight their disgust over losing their paid-up pension cash when the Scottish Stamping works in Ayr went into administration.

By Moira Kerr

thisisnorthscotland.co.uk