Environmental experts are to be enlisted to assess the damage caused by windfarms across the north and north-east, it has emerged.
The Scottish Parliament’s petitions committee voted in favour of the move after considering claims from a retired university professor from the north-east.
Dixie Dean says that the mechanical vibrations transmitted through land-based turbines to the surrounding terrain lead to problems. Mr Dean, a former business professor who has also worked in the field of mycology, says the impact will “devastate” the sand, soil and peat in the immediate area.
His petition states: “These vibrations will in time destroy the very fabric of peat, sand and soil for miles around. Peat bogs shaken to pieces will be flushed down to pollute streams as fibres disintegrate, collapse and rot.”
North-east SNP MSP Nigel Don, a committee member, questioned how the committee could reach out to the wider “science community” to help them probe the issue. “There will be departmental heads in the right universities who know about these kinds of things,” he said.
The committee agreed to write to specialist departments at universities for advice. It will also write to the government, Scottish Renewables and the Invertebrate Conservation Trust.
Mr Dean has tried to raise the issue with the Scottish Government, his MSP Richard Lochhead and the secretary of state for the environment but claims they all “persistently evade discussing and will not consider the matter.”
The news comes after a controversial 23-turbine windfarm won approval at Achany in Sutherland.
Mr Dean is calling for the issue to be taken into account when new onshore windfarm applications are considered. He also wants research to be commissioned into the impact of such vibrations on these habitats and species.
19 December 2007
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