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Crofters are not for sale at any price  

I am astonished that Iain M MacIver, factor of Stornoway Trust Estate, is questioning the integrity of the crofters of the Galson and Barvas estates (Letters, January 18). The 730 crofters who publicly declared their intention to challenge this proposal are from these two estates, a fact made quite clear in our press release of July 2007.

Mr Maciver has no authority, therefore, to claim I presented misleading information in my letter (January 16), or attempted to “distort the truth”. Our crofters have had years to consider the “lucrative” income that we could “enjoy” if this wind farm were granted, and we have said no each time we were asked. Sixteen surveys or ballots have all yielded overwhelming opposition to this project, comprehensively backed up by more than 13,000 objections submitted to the government – with only 77 letters in support – hardly the “widespread support at both national and local level” which he claims this project has.

We are not for sale, at any price. We are not the “needy” yokels that Mr Maciver claims, nor will we be bought by dangling “lucrative” carrots as bait to encourage us to capitulate. We most certainly do not share his views that building 181 giant turbines, digging miles of roads, drains and ditches, pylons, excavating five huge quarries (each up to a mile long) would be “managing the moorland to the benefit of our environment”.

In any case, Mr Maciver would do well to hark back to comments he made on the BBC TV programme Cunntas (recorded in Barvas in 2005), where he stated: “Furthermore, none of this could ever go ahead, and still can’t, without the crofters’ agreement. It won’t go ahead without the agreement of crofters.”

Dina Murray, 49 North Galson, Isle of Lewis.

———

It is disappointing that the factor of Stornoway Trust, Iain M MacIver, chooses to dismiss what most people would see as a reasonable take on the controversial Hebridean wind farm debate.

Iain is also wrong to suggest that local Hebridean opinion is in favour of the North Lewis wind farm: the opposite is true and for all three of the proposed industrial scale windfarms – North Lewis (AMEC), Eisgin (Estate Landowner) and Pairc (SSE).

The likelihood is that after 25 years we’ll be left with the detritus. Corporate ploys are easily devised to get around expensive decommissioning and taxpayers’ money may have to be used to clean up – see nuclear power industry for more details.

I was brought up to believe that a basic tenet of crofting is to leave the land in as good a shape as you found it, or better, for the benefit of future generations. We hold the land in trust.

Iain Mackenzie, 24 Fair-a-Far Cottages, Edinburgh.

The Herald

19 January 2008

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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