Hundreds of people packed into a public meeting in Balfron last week to hear why locals should object to plans for a windfarm near the town.
The meeting was organised by the Endrick Valley Action Group (EVAG).which is campaigning against energy giant Npower Renewables’ plans to build nine 406-feet wind turbines at Ballindalloch Muir.
EVAG chairman Gordon Adams said: “We are fighting the battle of Ballindalloch and if people don’t want these wind turbine monstrosities on our countryside they will have to object to the planning application for the windfarm when it goes before Stirling Council.”
A series of speakers outlined reasons why people should oppose the windfarm.
Retired electrical engineer Norman McNab said windfarms could not provide a constant flow of electricity.
David Bruce, spoke about the damage to the environment caused by the Braes of Doune windfarm and warned the same could happen at Ballindalloch.
Resident Liz Arthur said the construction of the windfarm could pollute burns and streams in the Endrick Valley and endanger rare species of fish and wildlife.
Jane Davis claimed her family had to abandon their home after a windfarm was built near their house in Lincolnshire as the noise from the turbines meant they could not get proper sleep at night.
Acoustic and ultrasonic expert Professor Gordon Hayward produced a series of noise pattern maps, which showed how villages surrounding the windfarm could be affected by noise from the wind turbines, and challenged Npower’s assertions that noise from their windfarm would not adversely affect locals.
Gordon Adams predicted a fall in house prices because of negative visual impact, possible health problems from noise and environmental consequences.
After the meeting he said: “The hall was packed with local people concerned about this windfarm proposal and how it is going to affect their lives, their children, their community and their countryside.
“Our wide range of expert speakers left them in no doubt the negative impact the wind turbines will have on West Stirlingshire.
“I have been overwhelmed by the amount of public support EVAG has been given and in particular that politicians of all parties have seen fit to come to the various meetings so as a proper considered judgement can be made.
“We can all see the mistakes that were made at the Braes of Doune and I am sure no one, including the government, wishes to see that repeated.”
Npower Renewables has consistently rejected EVAG’s claims and has previously pointed out that it has no connection to the Braes of Doune windfarm and has a good environmental and community track record at its other windfarms across the country.
The company declined an inviation to the public meeting. It said EVAG’s description of it as “an opportunity to hear why objections should be made” set an “adversarial and unconstructive agenda” and presented little opportunity for an open and honest debate.
The developers say they have carried out extensive public consultation through a wide variety of methods and will continue to do so.
7 December 2007
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