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Storm brewing over windfarm  

Credit:  Milngavie & Bearsden Herald, www.milngavieherald.co.uk 5 August 2011 ~~

A protest group which fought off a previous application for wind turbines near Balfron has re-formed to protest against new plans for a windfarm.

The Endrick Valley Action Group (EVAG) which campaigned successfully against energy giant npower’s application for wind turbines at Ballindalloch Muir, now opposes a proposal for Ard-Ghaoth windfarm by Hamilton based Banks Renewables on farmland north-east of Drymen.

EVAG spokesperson Mary Young, said: ‘The landscape of West Stirlingshire is again under threat.

“The turbines proposed at Craigievern (Ard-Ghaoth) are the same height as those at the Braes of Doune – higher than the Statue of Liberty.

“People seem to have come away from the Banks’ recent exhibition in Drymen with the belief that the proposal is a done deal, that it would be happening within weeks and that Stirling Council had purposefully delineated the area as capable of supporting a wind farm.

“EVAG is informing everybody of the lengthy processes which have to be undergone and that Stirling Council’s policy and guidance makes it quite clear that the capacity to accommodate additional large turbines is considered to be severely limited.

“The EVAG team has been heartened by the support it has received, even in these early days, but it is conscious that many people who would be visually impacted upon are not aware of the proposal or the applications in place.

“If anyone requires further information or can offer help with the campaign, we would ask them to contact EVAG at support@evag.co.uk, visit the website www.evag.co.uk or phone 01360 661451.“

Banks Renewables has submitted an application to Stirling Council for a wind monitoring mast and up to 20 wind turbines measuring 328ft (100 metres).

Ecological, ornithological and other preliminary investigations surveys are being carried out on site and the project would have a capacity of up to 40MW, which is enough to power around 22,000 homes.

Colin Anderson, a director of Banks Renewables, said: “Whilst the proposed site has been identified within an area that potentially has the capacity for a windfarm, we are also well aware of central Stirlingshire’s importance as a gateway link to Loch Lomond and the Trossachs and have therefore already commenced a number of very detailed studies that will help us to prepare a comprehensive planning application and environmental statement which fully takes account of the setting of the site.

“Power generated by onshore windfarms such as Ard Ghaoth has a crucial role to play in meeting the UK’s energy generation requirements for the foreseeable future and this is especially the case in Scotland, where the government is firmly committed to producing all the country’s electricity from renewable sources by 2020.

“Anyone with queries about the scheme can contact the project team on 0191 378 6100 or email enquiries@banks-group.co.uk.”

Source:  Milngavie & Bearsden Herald, www.milngavieherald.co.uk 5 August 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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