Campaigners fighting to stop wind farms at a conservation area today took their case to the Scottish Parliament.
They do not want the 125 turbines, each 508ft, to be built in Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park.
Arguing their case at the Parliament’s Petitions Committee, they warned that construction would take three years and have a “massive” impact on the communities of Kilbirnie, Dalry and Beith, Ayrshire, and Lochwinnoch, Renfrewshire.
The petition, presented by Sybil Simpson of the Save Your Regional Parks campaign, urges the Scottish Government to provide greater protection for National and Regional Parks “from industrialisation, including wind farms and their associated quarries, roads, cable trenches and sub-stations”.
Ms Simpson, who says she is not against wind farms and is a supporter of green energy, claims the continued expansion of wind farms will damage tourism.
She describes Clyde Muirshiel Park, which covers 108 square miles, as a “jewel in the crown” of the Central Belt.
In her evidence, she says the park attracts more than one million visitors a year who are interested in rambling, bird watching, mountain biking, picnicking, hillwalking and running.
But she warns: “There are currently 10 wind farm companies progressing a possible total of 280 giant wind turbines within the park.
“This will undoubtedly have an effect on visitors to the area because much of the beauty of the park will be destroyed through construction.
“To change the park into an industrial estate is radically changing the definition of the word park’.”
As well as causing environmental damage, Ms Simpson says the wind farms are preventing the public’s “right to roam” in an area where it should be freely available.
The Ladymoor Wind Factory Action Group, which is also fighting the expansion of wind farms at the park, claims to have attracted hundreds of people to public meetings.
By Brian Curry
4 December 2007
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