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Campaigners want to stop scenery being industrialised  

Environmental groups will take their campaign against the “industrialisation” of Scotland’s most scenic areas to the Scottish Government today.

The John Muir Trust and Ramblers Scotland will unveil a campaign poster at the SNP conference at Aviemore calling for new restrictions on the height of wind turbines and power lines.

They believe the iconic landscapes are threatened by windfarms and the proposal to upgrade the 136-mile Beauly to Denny power line with pylons double the size of existing ones – up to 220ft.

Nigel Hawkins, director of the John Muir Trust, said: “The SNP must act to ensure that Scotland reduces its carbon emissions without forever defacing its finest landscapes.

“The challenge of climate change should be focused on energy conservation, decentralised energy production and tapping the enormous potential for offshore wind, wave and tidal power.

“Denigrate Scotland’s wild land, and we risk permanently damaging the tourist industry which is a mainstay of the Scottish economy”.

The green groups are seeking a recognition that previous government policy on renewable energy has been “disastrous” because of an alleged lack of concern for the wild qualities of Scotland’s countryside.

They want revised planning guidance to put a limit on the height of onshore wind turbines to reduce their visual impact, and a ban on construction on peatlands.

Financial incentives for renewable projects must be changed to shift the emphasis towards offshore and marine technologies, and small-scale community projects.

The two groups are also calling for a “genuine commitment” to incentives to reduce the demand for energy.

The Press and Journal

26 October 2007

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