Campaigners are warning that Stirlingshire’s countryside could be turned into a “giant forest of wind turbines”.
Endrick Valley Action Group (EVAG) say developers npower renewables, who want to build a nine-turbine windfarm on Ballindalloch Muir near Balfron, have refused to rule out more turbines on the site.
And the group says there are proposals for two other energy companies to build windfarms in the same area.
Members of EVAG attended a series of exhibitions on the proposed windfarm in Fintry, Buchlyvie and Balfron last week and pressed executives over whether more turbines could be built on Ballindalloch Muir.
They say they were told there could be no guarantees.
An EVAG spokesperson told the Observer: “If Stirling Council allow the Ballindalloch windfarm to go ahead it looks like it could be the thin end of the wedge and even more turbines would be built to spoil our countryside.
“The Stirlingshire countryside could end up with a giant forest of wind turbines and that would do our tourism industry a great deal of harm.
“We already have these windfarms – or industrial wind generated electricity factories as they should be better known – on our countryside at Braes of Doune and Earslburn. Now we have a planning application about to be lodged for Ballindalloch and, according to the Gazetteer of Wind Power in Scotland, there are proposals by energy companies West Coast Energy to build a windfarm at Buchlyvie Muir and Wind Prospect to build another at Kippen Muir.”
EVAG staged an alternative exhibition in the same building as npower’s in Balfron on Saturday.
The EVAG spokesperson said: “We had almost 200 people come to our exhibition to see exactly what the detrimental effect this windfarm would have on our community. The vast majority of people agreed with us that the windfarm is far too close to the areas of population like Balfron.”
However, while npower officials admit they are unable to give guarantees, they say that has been misinterpreted by campaigners.
An npower renewables spokesperson said: “We can state categorically there no plans for any more than nine turbines. This is based on the restrictions and constraints of the site and its viability.
“The fact is it would be foolish for any company to give a cast iron guarantee that there will be no further development in the area ever, particularly in relation to other developers and other matters completely outwith our control.
“It is simply because there is always the potential for change at any point in the future in government policies and environmental guidelines.
“However, to suggest this means npower renewables has some sort of hidden agenda for this site is entirely false.”
The company has also moved to dispel concerns raised by EVAG about the effects of noise from the turbines on the local community, including that low-frequency noise can cause headaches and other ailments.
“An independent study in 2006, commissioned by the Department of Trade and Industry, concluded that infrasound noise emissions from wind turbines are significantly below the recognised threshold of perception, and that infrasound associated with modern wind turbines is not a source which will result in noise levels which may be injurious to the health of a wind farm neighbour.
“The study also showed whilst low frequency noise was measurable on a few occasions, it was below Government criteria and lower than that of low frequency noise associated with road traffic.”
31 August 2007
Endrick Valley Action Group (EVAG): evag.co.uk
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding