A moratorium must be called on further windfarms in the Ochil Hills, a Perth and Kinross councillor asserted yesterday.
Kinross-shire councillor Michael Barnacle says enough is enough after this scenic area – popular with walkers and ramblers – “has been unfairly targeted by a plethora of applications that show no sign of diminishing”.
The councillor’s plea to call a halt on further wind turbines – which already dominate the landscape on all sides of the county borders – comes as Perth and Kinross Council is preparing to rule on applications for three windfarm developments in the Glendevon area – Rhodders, Burnfoot Hill and Frandy Hill.
Councillor Barnacle’s slamming indictment of the planning process at all levels catalogues the history of Ochils’ wind farm developments, of which, he stresses, there should be no more.
His comments are made during his correspondence in support of objections which have already been lodged with Perth and Kinross Council in relation to the prospect of a further 18 turbines being erected at and next to the current Burnfoot Hill wind farm close to the Glendevon reservoirs.
He points out that the site of one of the applications – at Rhodders – lies within a designated Area of Great Landscape Value (AGLV) .
Councillor Barnacle writes: “In terms of assessing cumulative impact of windfarm developments in the Ochils, the whole process has been handled by the authorities unsatisfactorily and my enduring concern is that this may continue.”
His condemnation is not restricted to local authority and Scottish Government decisions, as he directs scathing criticism at wind farm developers: “Throughout this period, the power companies have shown themselves to be cavalier, duplicitous and philistine in their approach to our landscape and planning policies.”
In making a plea for the latest applications to be refused by Perth and Kinross Council, Councillor Barnacles states: “It is time to call a halt on further windfarm developments in the Ochil Hills.
“This beautiful hill landscape needs protection now, not further industrialisation from more windfarms.
“If the Ochils are anything to go by, Scotland faces the prospect of major adverse impacts on its hill landscapes from the Scottish Government’s misguided and short-term energy policy.”
A number of other organisations, agencies and individuals have lodged objections to the increase of wind farms in the Ochils.
Among those concerned at the seemingly unstoppable march of the turbines are the Friends of the Ochils.
Committee member Malcolm Best penned: “We at Friends of The Ochils are horrified at the ongoing desire to industrialise the Ochils.
“When will Government – at all levels – realise that natural assets such as the Ochils with their wild beauty are the best and most valuable asset that Scotland has and should be treasured and protected for generations to come and not destroyed?”
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