One of Scotland’s renowned beauty spots will be devastated by a controversial decision to grant permission for a 48-turbine wind farm, it was claimed yesterday.
Angry protesters said the Fallago Rig wind project would not only blight an area designated as of Great Landscape Value, but that it ignored the wishes of the local community.
“World-class landscapes are the sacrificial lambs in the Scottish Government’s attempts to meet self-imposed renewables targets. This could signal the death of Scotland’s countryside,” said Mark Rowley, spokesman for the Say No to Fallago Group.
The group’s reaction followed Enterprise Minister Jim Mather’s go-ahead for a wind farm in the Scottish Borders which, he said, would be capable of providing power for up to 66,000 homes and creating 600 jobs.
After a long campaign of opposition to the project, including fierce objections from Professor David Bellamy, the broadcaster and ecologist, North British Wind Power (NBWP) has been told it can build the farm at Fallago Rig in the Lammermuir Hills.
Mr Mather, who said he had insisted on a number of conditions to protect natural habitats, said: “The wind farm is expected to achieve carbon saving of thousands of tonnes of carbon dioxide each year.”
The SNP government has ambitions to generate 80 per cent of Scotland’s electricity from renewables by 2020.
Chairman of NBWP, Christopher Wilkins said: “We are pleased that after two public inquiries, consent has been granted.”
But Roxburgh and Berwickshire MSP John Lamont said: “The Scottish Government needs a national strategy so that suitable sites for wind farms are identified in advance rather than having the current situation with speculative applications for inappropriate sites.”
This summer, Prof Bellamy was quoted as saying: “If it is approved, the Scottish government will be declaring open war on Scotland’s countryside – no landscape will be safe from industrialisation by these high rise wind machines.”
Mr Rowley asked where the 600 jobs would come from, adding: “As a community that already lives amongst wind farms, we know from experience that local jobs are not generated by such projects.
“We are not giving up this fight because it sets a precedent for landscapes all over the country,” he said.
Last month, a wind turbine manufacturer in Kintyre went bust after being offered almost £10million of taxpayers’ money to safeguard jobs.
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