Myself and many like me will be stunned that the Assynt Foundation can even think about putting up wind turbines in the world renowned area of Suilven (NT and Letters, 6th April).
“It’s to combat global warming” says Claire Belshaw of the Assynt Foundation. So the subterfuge, typical of any wind farm debate has already started. The community will be divided (is already) and the arguments will be acrimonious. As Francis Keith says: “A community needs a wind farm like a hole in the head”. Once the genie is out of the bottle, it is very hard to put back in and the turbines are as good as built.
Far from helping the environment, the damage caused by wind farms is enormous. I would ask the foundation to send observers to our local “contribution” at Kilbraur, where the construction has just started. Numerous diggers, stone crushers, at least six massive trucks, site vehicles and the like are working away on what was until recently a quiet hill. It looks like a motorway construction site.
Watercourses don’t know which way to run, having been blocked by the road construction, there are huge piles of excavated peat (which release large quantities of CO2 as they dry), piles of stones are scattered over the heather, and the work has only just started.
On top of this, the developers, having had three or more years of “careful” preparation (to protect the environment), after only a month on the hill are back asking for planning permission to double the size of the on-site quarry. Two medium holes are easier to ask for than the one very big hole it will be (the planners are sure to agree). And to make matters worse, the one big hole will entirely wipe out a plantation of young trees. Plant trees, we are told, to counter CO2 emissions.
So I’m afraid wind turbines on the Assynt Foundation land will do three things: destroy the iconic scenery, destroy the environment and divide the community.
The one thing they might do in addition is make (subsidy) money, which is what all wind farm developers really want.
Don’t come up with the lame excuse of global warming. Say it straight. It’s the money.
Malcolm Rider, North Street, Dunbar.
20 April 2007
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