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Support for turbine petition

A petition against a proposal to site two 400-foot wind turbines at GlaxoSmithKline’s factory is gathering support, with 80 signatures.

The online petition was started just over two weeks ago and has mainly attracted signatories from Ferryden and Montrose after the link to the website was circulated on social networking site Facebook.

Most of the comments left on the GoPetition page centre on the proposed scheme’s potential visual and environmental impact. Objectors feel the turbines, more than 200 feet higher than the Old and St Andrew’s Church steeple, would “spoil the skyline” and be too close to residential areas. There is also a concern they could affect local wildlife but the scheme has attracted some local support (see letters on page 8).

Robert Boyd, of Montrose, said: “The proposal represents an unacceptable intrusion and imposition into the environment of the town. The benefits are focused solely on GSK and pays little heed to the community into which it is imposed.”

Margaret Key, also from Montrose, said she was shocked by the proposed location, commenting: “One of the main local and tourist attractions in the area is the wildlife associated with Montrose Basin. Even if humans were indifferent to the wildlife, surely to jeopardise the natural habitat and migration cycles of wildlife is at best foolish and at worst an attempt to destroy nature’s order.”

Ferryden resident Stanley Johnston said he has concerns over “noise and changes to the skyline”, while Montrosian Andrew Kennedy suggested a compromise would be to run an undersea cable from an offshore wave turbine instead.

GSK has put forward the proposal to generate power for the pharmaceutical plant and reduce the Cobden Street site’s running costs as well as its carbon footprint. The plan is to generate six megawatts of electricity by 2013, the equivalent of powering 3,000 homes.

The company maintains that to generate that amount of electricity the 426-foot high turbines, from base to tallest blade tip, would be necessary.

A GSK spokesman has said environmental impact studies have been conducted over the last year and the cycle of migratory birds and their flight paths have been tracked. Further details about the proposal, for which no planning application has been lodged, will be presented to the local public at an exhibition and information event in the Links Hotel next Thursday, September 15.

Ferryden Community Council intends to produce an information leaflet about the proposals which will be circulated in the village and is planning to hold a public meeting in the near future.