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Westminister debates Carrick wind farms  

Credit:  Carrick Gazette, www.carricktoday.co.uk 18 May 2011 ~~

The debate over whether Carrick has enough wind farms was dicussed at Westminster last week.

Carrick MP Sandra Osborne told the House of Commons that the area was in a ‘David and Goliath battle with big companies’ and no-one was listening to their concerns.

Ms Osborne revealed that England has stronger rights to object developments than Scotland.

She said: “I was interested to hear that England has stronger rights to object. I would like to know more about that, because such rights are needed in Scotland and elsewhere.

“It is not acceptable that people can be more or less bullied into accepting the situation, with no redress or appeal.

“My other worry is with the new Scottish National Party Government. I have a lot of worries about that, but the main one is that they have totally unrealistic targets for 100 per cent renewables, and they cannot possibly be met in the timescale.

“To my consituents, that means only one thing – even more wind farms in their area.”

And Ms Osborne shares the same worries as a growing number of people in south Carrick. She said: “My worry with wind farm development is the profileration of wind farms in particular area.

“I now fear that, once the doors to wind farms have been opened in an area, before we know it, the whole place will be full of them.

“Not enough work has been done on alternative sources of energy other than wind farms. Carbon capture and storage is close to my heart because another part of my very large constituency is a mining area with an open-cast mine.

“In contrast to wind farms, which do not provide many jobs, open-cast mines could provide hundreds of jobs in a very poor part of my constituency.”

Ms Osbrone also argued that the UK as a whole has been too slow to invest in other means of generating energy, such as offshore and tidal schemes.

She said: “Some progress has now been made, but they will not become a practical alternative in the near future. We hope to see them become so, but they are not there now.”

Members at the House of Commons were painted a picture by Ms Osborne of just what some of her constituents face.

She explained: “There are 20 wind farms operational, at the scoping stage or in the planning process in my constituency and the adjacent area of Galloway, which is by no means large.

“I have a map of the area that indicates the scale of development that will happen if all the wind farm applications go through.

“We will almost have 600 wind turbines, and even the most ardent environmentalist most surely understand that this is not acceptable in anybody’s book.”

Along with visual impact, health concerns remain a major question mark over potential new developments.

Sandra added: “In Scotland, the suggested separation distance is 2 km, but some individual houses are nearer than that.

“I have a constituent who cannot open her curtains or blinds because she is subjected to constant flicker from the wind farm.

“Although it is said there is no evidence that that can happen, she would differ; her mental and physical health has been seriously affected.

“However, compensation is not available to allow people to move, and such people will not be able to sell their houses.”

Source:  Carrick Gazette, www.carricktoday.co.uk 18 May 2011

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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