The relentless pressure to identify new sites for windfarm developments has been described as “economic and environmental folly” by a Perthshire councillor.
Ann Cowan, whose ward is in Strathearn, has thrown her weight behind objections to a windfarm at Mull Hill and attacked the Government’s “mad dash for wind power”.
“The UK boasts 3,538 wind turbines, over half of them in Scotland, and a further 800 have been approved and will be erected in 2012,” said Mrs Cowan, who lives at Fowlis Wester.
“Doubtless many more will follow. For what purpose do we cause the desecration of the beautiful mountains and hills we all love by installing ugly roads, industrial giant turbines, and yet more electricity pylons?
“Figures show that on average wind turbines worked at less than a quarter of their capacity over the last two years.
“From my house I see rows of turbines on the Ochil Hills, and during the last few mornings of cold but windless weather I could observe that none were working.
“The Scottish Government is making a made dash for wind power, indeed their (unsustainable) aim is to make Scotland 100% reliant on renewables, with wind power being the main contribution.
“The cost for this is paid by us all, resulting in electricity bills rising remorselessly.
“The huge profits now being made by windfarm operators go into the pockets of landowners and power companies.
“This is madness when so many families in Scotland are already in fuel poverty and our industry is struggling. It is the quickest way for the poor to stay poor and the rich to get richer.
“It is time to pause and think again. I will be among the objectors to the recent application for a windfarm on Mull Hill, better known to local people as Connachan Farm, situated between Gilmerton and the Sma’Glen.
“But what really needs to happen is for the Government policy to change, and until that happens I will continue to fight against this economic and environmental folly.”
The developers, Force 9 Energy and Abercairney Estates, claim the nine-turbine proposal – which replaces previous plans for 24 turbines – could generate enough power for 11,300 homes.
A community fund would be set up, which could inject more than £1.9 million into the local community over the project’s planned 25-year lifetime.
A public exhibition was held in Crieff to outline the plans and Force 9 claim that the majority of the feedback they have received is positive and supportive of the proposal.
There will be a chance for people to air their views at a meeting in the village hall in Fowlis Wester tomorrow, at 7pm, organised by the local community council.
The developer and the objectors will both be represented, and Professor Iain Macleod and Murdo Fraser MSP are speaking for the objectors.
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