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Wind debate up in the air

Community councils across west Stirlingshire are currently deciding how to respond to the proposed Ballindalloch Muir wind farm near Balfron.

The Stirling Observer understands that over the next few weeks, community councillors will be holding discussions on whether to respond to the plans for nine turbines proposed by n-Power Renewables.

This week, the Observer attempted to contact community councils from Arnprior to Drymen. Those we spoke to said that they were mulling over whether to join the protest group – the Endrick Valley Action Group (EVAG) – or to form sub-committees in order to look at the proposals in detail and respond independently.

In either case, their positions on this are expected soon.

Apart from Balfron, the wind farm site does not fall within the boundaries of the other community councils, although they have been invited to respond because the turbines are visible from their villages.

One community councillor said that, while many people might not be adversely affected by the turbines, children from their villages attended Balfron High School, which would be next to the wind farm, thus raising health concerns.

Next week, n-Power Renewables will be holding public exhibitions on the proposals at Culcreuch Castle in Fintry on Wednesday, from 2-9pm, Buchylvie Community Hall on Friday, from 2-9pm, and at the McLintock Hall in Balfron, from 10am-4pm, on Saturday.

Keeping up the pressure on the plans, EVAG members have been out in areas directly in line of the wind farm to get public support.

At the weekend, they were at Balfron Golf Society’s Shian golf course to illustrate the height of the turbines – which at 125m, they say will be among Scotland’s tallest.

Balfron Golfing Society member Jack Currie from Ballat, after seeing campaign posters and helium balloons raised to the height, said: “We are all really surprised and shocked at the height these things.

“The wind turbines are going to be a blot on the landscape and you’ve also got the continuous noise coming from them when the blades are turning.

“The wind farm is a horrendous prospect and there are a lot of people in Balfron who are upset and against this happening.”

N-Power Renewables say that the company intends to continue consulting on the matter for some weeks. Interested people can look online at the plans. A spokesperson said the company is unlikely to be submitting any plans to Stirling Council until November, when another consultation period will open.

Stirling Observer

17 August 2007