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Windfarm protest in the Ochils

Protesters are lining up an 11th-hour bid to blow down plans for a Burnfoot Hill windfarm.

Dozens of hillwalkers are preparing to take to the Ochil Hills in June to see first-hand the site of the 13-turbine windfarm – which was backed by Wee County councillors in March.

They hope that by generating enough interest, that decision will be reversed through any means, including by the new Clackmannanshire Council, or through pressure being put on the Scottish Executive.

The protest is being organised by Dollar man and mountaineer Peter Evans and Tillicoultry businessman Norman Thomson – a keen walker and mountain biker.

Mr Evans, who is also a member of the conservation group Friends of the Ochils, said: “This windfarm will introduce an industrial-scale development into a very peaceful and beautiful part of the Ochils above Upper Glendevon Reservoir.”

He said the development would be seen from across the Ochils to the detriment of more than 2000 walkers who visit the hills range each year.

Mr Thomson added: “Direct action such as this is often the only way to demonstrate to the decision-makers that we mean business.

“We are not prepared to stand by and see the hills destroyed by misguided politicians.

“They don’t have the faintest idea how much the Ochils and other hill ranges mean to those who value the mountain environment.”

The pair have called into question the timing of the decision on the windfarm because of the four ongoing public inquiries into the other windfarm schemes in Perth and Kinross.

They also believe that there has been a race to snap up sites for turbines without proper thought being given to generating electricity by other means.

They are encouraging protesters involved in these inquiries as well as hillwalkers to turn up at the protest on Sunday, June 3.

The event starts with a meeting at 10am at Devonvale Hall in Tillicoultry. After that, there is an option for people to go on the walk which will take up to five hours.

observer

16 May 2007