Tanya McLaren writes (“Forres Gazette”, May 30, ‘Wind farm threat to beauty of Dava’) that the group “protesting against plans to ring the Dava Moor wilderness” with wind farms has lobbied various bodies, such as Scottish Natural Heritage, Historic Scotland, Grantown Community Council, Highland Council and relevant MSPs.
Each certainly has a role in determining the future of the Dava Moor, across which flows the bulk of Moray’s southern-generated tourist traffic, but the mandate to promote and protect the interests of all the residents of Moray is in the hands of the democratically elected Moray Council.
It follows that as long as tourism is a pillar of Moray’s employment, the Moray Council is obliged to protect that base and lodge a formal objection to the Cairn Duhie wind farm application with the Highland Council ““ believed to have already recorded a “presumption against” a wind farm on the Dava Moor at Cairn Duhie.
Spending a number of months each year in France (though a lifetime resident of Moray and devotee of the Dava Moor) has given me an objective view of the proposal to build on the pristine Dava Moor, 15 turbines, each 100 metres high, rising, in grossly intrusive fashion, in two 3km long arcs around Cairn Duhie. This wind farm development, just one of several planned for development in Moray, will, when combined with others in areas adjacent to Moray, rob the area of its principal tourism asset: an unspoiled environment.
In Provence’s Valee des Baux, where we live when not at home in Moray, wind farms are forbidden. Being France’s most popular southern tourist destination, there is a consensus in Les Baux that any development likely to jeopardise the area’s outstanding beauty must be banned. Similarly, Moray’s future as a truly unique tourist destination in Scotland, and ultimately in Europe, will depend on how well it protects its own unique landscape.
Let the wind farm developers get their way on the Dava Moor (designated an Area of Great Landscape Value), and Moray will have sacrificed its God-given natural heritage for the short-term profit of a few at the long-term expense of the county’s general good.
In the Highland and Grampian areas there are discrete locations ideally suited for wind farms (Berryburn on the Altyre moor is one example; off-shore locations another). In pursuit (rightly) of technologies claiming to contribute to the slowing of global-warming, local authorities need to be conscious of the negative consequences of the indiscriminate location and cumulative effect of wind farms in their areas. None is more unsuitably located than Cairn Duhie on the Dava Moor. ““ Yours etc,
13 June 2007
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