Villagers attending a public meeting in Killearn voted “overwhelmingly” against plans for a windfarm near their neighbouring west Stirlingshire village Balfron.
A meeting organised by Killearn Community Council in the village hall this week heard the case for and against npower renewables’ nine-turbine proposal for Ballindalloch Muir.
Community council chair Brenda Pell said around 100 people attended with around 80 from Killearn itself, the “overwhelming majority” of whom were against the windfarm.
She added that the community council would take this into account when they meet on February 20 to decide if they formally support or object to the company’s planning application.
She said: “It was a very courteous meeting.
“Wind energy is not simply an issue of for and against as it is a multi-faceted argument with all sorts of things for people to consider but the meeting set out to concentrate on this particular application.
“While the application site is not within our community council area we are among the consultees as we border Balfron. Community council members felt it was important seek locals’ views before reaching a conclusion ourselves.
“At the end we asked for a show of hands from those attending who lived in the Killearn area. Three of four people were in support of the application and a big majority – too many to count – were against it.”
Gordon Adams, chair of campaign group EVAG which wants to halt the plans, said: “Both sides of the argument were put to the people of Killearn and they made their views known in no uncertain terms.
“EVAG’s speakers were all expert in their field and the meeting heard how the electricity generated from the Ballindalloch windfarm could not be relied on to provide a continuous power supply because the wind does not blow constantly.
“If we relied on windfarms for electricity supplies, our televisions, lights, washing machines and any other electrical appliances in our homes would be going off every time the wind dropped.”
Mr Adams from Balfron, who reiterated EVAG’s claims of health fears for the community associated with noise and vibrations from the turbines, added: “I would urge people to object before February 22 – the end of Stirling Council’s statutory period for comments from the public.”
A spokesperson for npower renewables, which also produced experts to support its case, said: “Wind power has a significant contribution to make to electricity generation, working alongside conventional technologies.
“Windfarms reduce the dependency on finite resources of coal, oil and gas used to generate electricity in conventional power plants. All forms of power generation require back up and no energy technology is relied upon 100 per cent.
“Power plants are being shut down either through European legislation on emissions or sheer old age. We need to act now to find replacement power services.
“Wind is an abundant resource native to Scotland and the UK and therefore has a vital role to play in the new energy portfolio. It is important that people understand about wind power and separate facts from myths.
“We would encourage anyone who wishes to express their views about Ballindalloch windfarm to submit these to Stirling Council by February 22.”
1 February 2008
Endrick Valley Action Group (EVAG): evag.co.uk