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Not in our valley: villagers in protest against ‘horrendous’ wind turbines

They would dwarf the Wallace Monument, tower over Nelson’s Column, and even look down on the Statue of Liberty.

Now angry residents in Balfron, Stirlingshire, have launched a campaign to stop the 400ft wind turbines being built in their valley.

The villagers are fighting plans by Npower Renewables to build nine giant turbines on Ballindalloch Muir, only a mile-and-a-half from their homes.

They have this week set up an organisation called Evag – Endrick Valley Action Group – to protest against “the horrendous visual impact” of the turbines, which have a blade span bigger than a jumbo jet.

It is the latest in a series of anti-windfarm protest groups to be formed in the West of Scotland, including the Ladymoor Windfarm Action Group which successfully campaigned against a proposed 148-turbine farm in Clydemuirshiel Park.

The farm has now been downgraded to 24 turbines, with an official planning application submitted this week by Wind Hydrogen Ltd, under the new name of Wings Law Wind Farm.

Npower say their Ballindalloch Muir Wind Farm would have a total capacity of 20 megawatts, creating enough clean energy to meet the average annual electricity needs of up to 9500 Scottish homes.

But the Balfron residents claim the windfarm may pose a health risk to more than 1200 children who attend Balfron High, Balfron Primary and a nursery school less than a mile-and-a-half from the proposed turbines.

Mrs Mary Young, action group secretary, said: “These nine wind turbines will spoil the natural beauty of the Endrick Valley.”

As the first stage of their campaign, members of Evag have produced a poster showing just how huge each of the wind turbines would be and their visual effect on the landscape in comparison to world-famous landmarks, such as the Statue of Liberty.

This week these posters have been put up around Balfron in a bid to raise awareness of the planning application which is expected to be submitted to Stirling Council next month.

NPower Renewables was unavailable for comment last night. However, on its website the company points out that it has engaged in public consultation regarding the proposal.

The windfarm is currently at the Environmental Impact Assessment stage.

By James Morgan

The Herald

4 August 2007