The mystery surrounding the appearance of two wind farm campaigners in central Sutherland last week has been solved.
The two men, who had a Doncaster-registered car, purported to be from the campaign group yes2wind and wore clothing emblazoned with the name of that group.
But it emerged this week that they were in fact representatives of another pro-wind farm group, Alliance for Wind.
The men stationed themselves outside shops in Lairg and Bonar Bridge last Wednesday and lobbied passers-by to sign letters in favour of the controversial 27-turbine Braemore Wind Farm.
It also became clear this week that they were there with the blessing of the wind farm developers Wind Prospect.
Their appearance enraged opponents of the wind farm who accused Wind Prospect of underhand tactics.
It was alleged those who signed the letters may have been misled into thinking they were supporting the concept of clean energy rather than the Braemore Wind Farm in particular.
Damian Aubrey of Wind Prospect told The Northern Times that Alliance for Wind had been given permission by Wind Prospect to lobby people in Lairg and Bonar Bridge.
But he flatly denied making any payment to the group and he said he did not know why the men in question purported to be from yes2wind and were wearing clothing with that group’s logo.
“Alliance for Wind are a pro-wind campaign group who aim to give local people living close to planned wind farms the opportunity to show their support,” he said.
“They just try to counter the false claims that surround proposed wind farms.
“There is nothing underhand about it at all. As I understand it, they talk to people on the street and explain about the benefits of a wind farm”
Sixty-five representations regarding Braemore had been registered on the Highland Council’s e-planning website by the deadline of Monday, 7th February.
The planning application will be determined by the Scottish Government because the total output of the development is over 50Mw.
An opposition group, the Kyle of Sutherland against Braemore (KoSAB) has been formed in opposition to the plans.
Chairman is Andy Simpson, Linsidecroy, and vice-chairman is Sandy Chalmers, Invershin. The group will hold its first public meeting next month. A constitution is being finalised and a fighting fund has been started.
Group member Colin Gilmour said this week: “The Braemore turbines would stretch for 5kms from beside the A839 Rosehall to Lairg road all the way down to Inveran.”
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